Is it a passing storm or an existential problem? That’s a key question for the NFL as it grapples with the mushrooming controversy of players kneeling in protest during the national anthem, and President Donald Trump’s persistent bashing of the kneelers.
A new Yahoo Finance poll suggests the NLF has an enduring problem on its hands. Nearly 62% of 9,056 respondents told us they plan to watch less pro football in response to the anthem controversy. Thirty-six percent said they plan to buy less NFL merchandise, and 32% have chosen not to attend a game they would otherwise have gone to. Those findings all have financial implications for the NFL and its 32 team owners.
We wanted to limit our survey, conducted online via Survey Monkey from Sept. 28-29, to people who patronize the NFL, and exclude people who have an opinion but don’t watch football. So we only counted answers from people who describe themselves as pro football fans. Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they watch at least one game per week, with 46% of those saying they watch more than two games. (Here are the full survey results. The number of responses varies from question to question.)