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Poll: Kaepernick-Led Protests Impact NFL Ratings

NFL ratings have been rather low this season and many with a stake in the sport are attempting to figure out why.

Among the proposed explanations are the presidential elections, and overexposure. But according to a Yahoo.YouGov poll, Colin Kaepernick’s decision to silently protest the national anthem may be a factor.

The poll recorded that 29 percent of NFL fans are watching less football than previous years. Of that group, 40 percent blame the national anthem protests started in the preseason by Colin Kaepernick. That reasons was especially popular for those who identified themselves as being 55 and over.

Fifty-three percent of that group cited protests as their main reason for avoiding the NFL, while just 13 perent of 18 to 34-year-olds have done so for that very reason.

The other reasons for the lack of NFL enthusiasm on the small screen were listed as a lack of opportunities to watch (31 percent), 28 percent cited a loss of interest for their decline in viewership and 17 percent of those surveyed cited the presidential election.

In August, Kaepernick told reporters that his action is a protest against police violence directed at people of color, which stirred up a firestorm of controversy. He was first shown not standing during the team’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on Friday and has since said his demonstration will continue until there is change.