San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, is firing back against fans blaming him for the drop in NFL viewership.
The National Football League, by far the most popular of the major American sports, has seen a large drop in television viewership and fantasy sports participation during its 2016-2017 season. The drop in viewership, although certainly attributable to other factors as well, coincides with the decision by Kaepernick and other NFL players to kneel and put up fists during the singing of the National Anthem. Kaepernick started the protest during the preseason as a stance against police violence against African Americans. Many NFL fans have blamed the ostensibly anti police stance and rhetoric from Kaepernick and other players as a reason Americans have stopped supporting the NFL.
During a conference call with a number of reporters, Kaepernick responded to questions surrounding a poll that indicated that his protesting of the National Anthem was a major reason for the decline in NFL popularity. Kaepernick asked those who stopped watching to look in the mirror.
“They’re not watching football because of my stance about fighting systematic oppression and wanting the same equality and freedom for all people? I would say they probably need to look in the mirror at what they value,” reasoned Kaepernick. “You know, if they’re OK with people being treated unfairly, being abused, being harassed, being terrorized, then the problem is more with what they’re doing in their lives than it is about watching football games.”