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34% Are Less Likely to Follow NFL Because of Protests

Rassmussen Reports: Among those who follow the NFL at least once a week, roughly 30% say they are less likely to do so now because of the increasing number of player protests. Only eight percent (8%) say the protests make them follow the league more.



Rassmussen Reports:

Are football fans voting with their TVs?

As the National Football League struggles to explain this season’s downturn in viewer ratings, 34% of American Adults say they are less likely to watch an NFL game because of the growing number of protests by players on the field. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 12% are more likely to watch, while 50% say the protests have no impact on their viewing decisions. (To see survey question wording, click here.)




These numbers are little changed from October of last year after Colin Kaepernick, then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, initiated the protests, citing racial and police brutality issues.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of Americans say they follow professional football on television, in person, on the radio or through other media at least occasionally in a typical week, with 39% who do so once or more per week. Thirty-five percent (35%) say they rarely or never follow the sport.

Among those who follow the NFL at least once a week, roughly 30% say they are less likely to do so now because of the increasing number of player protests. Only eight percent (8%) say the protests make them follow the league more.


The survey of 1,000 American Adults was conducted on September 20-21, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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