Guess which organization is considered more polarizing than ABC News, Chick Fil-A, the Huffington Post, and only two spots behind MSNBC? If you guessed the NFL, step forward and collect your winnings.
After more than a year of rampant NFL player protests, the National Football League is now seen as one of the most divisive brand names in America, a new report finds.
As reported in the New York Times, a new Morning Consult survey found that the NFL is viewed as “polarizing,” by nearly as many people as view President Donald Trump’s hotels that way. The survey found that the NFL now figures in among the top ten most polarizing brand names. The top ten most divisive list includes Trump hotels, CNN, NBC News, The New York Times, MSNBC, Fox News, the NFL, ABC News, HuffPost, and CBS News.
In large part, sports league ended up in the number seven most divisive spot because President Trump criticized the league during a rally for a U.S. Senate candidate in Alabama on September 22.
After the president’s broadside against the NFL for allowing players to continue protesting against the country during the anthem, the whole of the league erupted in mass protests. Yet, instead of coming to the league’s side, football fans in particular and Americans in general, seem to have turned against the league.
Along with being seen as most divisive, TV ratings for the league have also continued a long dive into the basement.
For instance, last weekend, NBC’s Sunday Night Football earned only a 10.6/18 ratings for Week 5, a 3% drop from last week’s numbers.
The NFL isn’t the only sports franchise seen as divisive. The National Basketball League has also come under question, according to The New York Times.
“After LeBron James tweeted his support for Stephen Curry, whose invitation to the White House was rescinded by Mr. Trump (after Mr. Curry indicated he wouldn’t attend),” the Times wrote, “the share of Trump voters who said they held very unfavorable views of Mr. James more than doubled, to 23 percent from 11 percent. For Clinton voters, the opposite was true: The event made them like Mr. James more.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.