More Americans tuned into NFL football than usual after Donald Trump pushed for a boycott of the league, in another instance of the country rejecting him.
Donald Trump’s despotic declaration that the NFL should punish players who protest racial injustice, and that fans should boycott the league if the organization refuses, has backfired in spectacular fashion.
ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell wrote, “Preliminary ratings for NFL games on CBS yesterday were UP 4% vs Week 3 of last year. Its pregame show had highest viewership in 7 YEARS.”
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that ratings were up for the NFL pregame show on Fox as well, with both Fox and CBS “up 19%” as viewers tuned in to see hosts like Terry Bradshaw tell them, “If our country stands for anything, folks, it’s freedom. People died for that freedom. I’m not sure if our President understands those rights.”
Trump has made the league’s ratings a central part of his complaints, writing that ratings have been down because “many stay away because they love our country.”
PolitiFact examined his claim and found that the overall decline in ratings has been in line with other sports and broadcast programs, while the evidence tying that figure to politics is lacking. Overall, Trump’s claim about NFL ratings was rated as “mostly false.”
The NFL is still the most-watched sport in America, and what more fans than usual saw on Sunday were players exercising their First Amendment right, in defiance of Trump’s brand of forced patriotism.
Trump has been a failure at convincing a majority of Americans to support him or his agenda. He could not sway a plurality of voters to back him in the election — nearly 3 million more people voted for Hillary Clinton.
Despite his past as the host of a reality TV show, Americans don’t trust him for their TV watching habits either.