Television ratings for the National Football League continue to sink after weeks of player protests during the performance of the national anthem, with Monday Night Football viewership breaking record lows as angry fans change the channel.
Monday night’s match-up between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears was the least watched NFL game this season, down 17% from last week and reaching a regular season low for the league and ESPN, reports Deadline Hollywood.
The bad news comes just a day after Sunday Night Football also reached a season low as fans tune out after weeks of bad publicity and professional athlete protests. The league has seen a sharp decline in ticket sales and television ratings as players choose to “take a knee” or remain in the locker room during the performance of the national anthem.
As a result, two teams –the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys- have demanded players stand at attention as the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ rings out in the stadium; telling the athletes to honor the anthem or “sit-out” the game.
“If there’s anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play. OK? Understand? If we are disrespecting the flag, then we won’t play. Period,” said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Earlier Tuesday, President Trump weighed-in on the nationwide controversy, saying the NFL should lose its “massive tax breaks” if players continue to “disrespect” the national anthem and the US flag.