OCT. 31, 2016: As NFL athletes continue to protest during the National Anthem, NFL ratings have gone down. The protests started with San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sitting during “The Star Spangled Banner” at the 49ers first regular season game nine weeks ago (which the 49ers lost). Ever since, Kaepernick continued to protest and many others followed within his footsteps. So, are the protests worth losing valuable fans who watch the game every Sunday?
First off, Kaepernick started the protests to address racial and social issues in the U.S. He wanted to put the issues “back in the conversation”. Some people believe that the protests are a good thing and some others doesn't think they are necessary. People believe that professional athletes should stand up for what they believe in, and they believe that it’s important to have people to put the issues back in the conversation. San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly approves of his quarterback’s decision to protest during the national anthem. Other athletes including the Miami Dolphins, and even LeBron James started to voice their opinions on our society’s issues.
But on the flip side, NFL television ratings are plummeting down to a five year all-time low. According to viewership statistics, 40% of the reason people aren’t watching football more is because of the Kaepernick protests. Also, many others believe that the protests are disrespectful towards America and the people who fight for America. Marine Colonel Jeffrey A. Powers even wrote a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressing his view on the subject.
I feel that the protests are a great idea, but I feel we should approach the protests in a different way. As a football fan, I feel we should not punish the NFL, but try to help and encourage them and try not to let politics and protests get in the way of good old fashioned Sunday Night Football.
Jerell King is a 9th grade scholar and Sean Beach is an 8th grade scholar at Friendship Tech Prep Academy.