NFL ratings drop as Internet speculates if social justice slogans are to blame: 'If you go woke, you go broke'
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has put a halt on everything with many nations imposing strict measures to curb the outbreak. The sports industry worldwide has also faced the brunt of the pandemic. The NFL (National Football League) returned on television sets after a long break filled with uncertainty for a football season. However, not many fans tuned in to watch the season opener in which defending champion Kansas City Chiefs eased past Houston Texans.
According to Daily Mail, the season kickoff game on NBC drew 13 percent fewer viewers than the 2019 opener between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. Nearly 19.3M people tuned in to watch the match broadcast, while last year’s Packers-Bears contest was seen by 22.2M viewers. NBC stated that live streaming boosted the total number of viewers to 20.3M.
There has been a lot of speculation about the reasons behind the decline of the ratings. Social justice slogans painted on the end zones such as "End Racism" and "It Takes All Of Us", political messaging and the players not coming out for the National Anthem could be some potential factors. The Houston Texans were not on the field for "Lift Every Voice and Sing" and the National Anthem while the Chiefs remained on the field for both. The boos began after the Texans returned to the field to join the Chiefs during a moment of silence and a show of unity. All of these factors could have potentially raised criticism from some fans.
While the reason for the rating slump may very well be connected to the BLM protests and the political activism in the sport, there is no way to tell for sure. A number of other factors could have also impacted the ratings. For instance, September 11 was an unusually crowded day for sports. The NBA playoffs, Stanley Cup and US Open, just to name a few, were among the major sporting events that took place on September 11. Another reason could be the increased use of online streaming which might have adversely affected the TV ratings for the NFL. According to The Sports Rush, a telephone questionnaire showed that 32 percent were less likely to watch an NFL game due to the ongoing protests. However, League executives disagreed on this stance.
Fans have been speculating the various reasons which might have affected the ratings, with many feeling that the ratings dropped owing to NFL's attempt to promote social justice messages. The NBA has already suffered a 20 percent rating decline from the previous season as it has promoted the 'Black Lives Matter' movement left, right and center. With the NFL also deciding to go down the same road, this may have impacted the ratings.
Many Twitter users took to the micro-blogging website to express their thoughts on the recent match and the decline in ratings. One user wrote, "Very interested to see if there’s an NFL ratings drop this year. Lot of people saying if you go woke, you go broke. The NFL certainly hasn’t gone as woke as the NBA but the little they did last night was too much for a lot of people (right or wrong)."
Very interested to see if there’s an NFL ratings drop this year. Lot of people saying if you go woke, you go broke. The— MJ (@TheMJTake) September 11, 2020
NFL certainly hasn’t gone as woke as the NBA but the little they did last night was too much for a lot of people (right or wrong)
Another Twitter user said, "Turns out working class people don’t like millionaires lecturing them about oppression. NFL Season Kickoff Ratings Down Double Digits From 2019 Opener." One user pointed out that that social justice messages could have been the reason for a drop in the ratings. "NFL Sees Major Drop in TV Ratings for Social Justice-Laden Opening Game," the user tweeted.
Turns out working class people don’t like millionaires lecturing them about oppression.— Jimmy Failla (@jimmyfailla) September 11, 2020
NFL Season Kickoff Ratings Down Double Digits From 2019 Opener – Deadline https://t.co/pUHICswefr
Another one wrote, "What do you attribute the ratings drop to Mark? I’m a huge fan but the bottom line is a lot of people are turned off by what is happening in all three NBA, MLB and NFL. I do not think it’s Netflix." Another person tweeted, "16% drop in ratings for NFL opener. Get woke. Go broke. Going up against hardly any new TV content and one new movie where theaters are even open. Not a great start." Another user tweeted, "It is likely that multiple factors played into the drop, including social justice messages. NFL ratings plummet in Chiefs-Texans season opener. "#NFL listen to the boos from fans during moment of silence for 'equality'. Pay attention to ratings drop. Your fans don’t want the #blm race baiting crap," another person wrote.
What do you attribute the ratings drop to Mark? I’m a huge fan but the bottom line is a lot of people are turned off by what is happening in all three NBA, MLB and NFL . I do not think it’s Netflix !— Steve G. (@bobcatdad1970) September 11, 2020
16% drop in ratings for NFL opener. Get woke. Go broke. Going up against hardly any new TV content and one new movie where theaters are even open. Not a great start. pic.twitter.com/v3PNp1kkmV— Build Back...uh the thing...Butter (@JoshMayhugh1) September 11, 2020
Players chose to showcase other messages during their pregame workouts. "'It Takes All of Us' and 'BLM' were among the phrases spotted on the field. The league will play the Black national anthem 'Lift Every Voice and Sing' before the beginning of every game during week 1.