Is Donald Trump making the NFL less popular with his request for the owners to fire those players who kneel or otherwise engage in silent acts of political protest during the singing of the national anthem at games? I saw some fans on the news burning their NFL jerseys and saying that they are done watching football, but I think these people are in the minority. This controversy was started during the 2016 season, when the San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose not to stand during the pregame playing of the national anthem as an act of protest against racism and police brutality in America. Trump has claimed, “NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country.”
This is one of the few viewpoints where I can agree with Trump, as I feel that our National Anthem should be respected and not made into a stage for protests. The NFL is experiencing a rating problem now, but the slumping ratings may be the result of some of the recent rule changes designed to prevent head injuries and the newer fans. The league is losing viewers and the NFL does have a ratings problem and the game has changed to be more about scoring in an effort to boost ratings and attract a certain demographic. These new NFL fans are mostly fantasy football fans who really only care about scoring. They do no need to watch an entire broadcast, as they just care about the highlights.
Fantasy Football is where people from all walks of life, young and old, male or female, create ‘teams’ of players, who are graded by their performance in each week’s real-life football game and all you have to do is check the internet or go on the RedZone channel to see how the players that you picked are doing. Fantasy Football will continue to grow with these new fans and because of that, NFL ratings will continue to decline. Although online poker was banned, wagering money on fantasy sports, has been deemed a game of skill that requires knowledge of a players’ likely performances and therefore this is not considered to be a game of chance, which allows websites like DraftKings and FanDuel to do business.
I think that fantasy football is more about studding this sport than it is about actually enjoying the game. Most of the fantasy football participants have a great deal of knowledge about football and they keep track of many statistics. People participate in fantasy sports to stay connected with their friends and many of these people love competition. The draft could be the best part of fantasy football, however everyone wants to win the prize money to have bragging rights and dish out some trash talk.