The NFL likely hoped for a return to normalcy for Week 6, especially after Commissioner Goodell’s call to “move past the anthem controversy,” and address the issue in detail at league meetings on Tuesday. Instead, what the NFL got was a return to what has become the “new normal” in the age of anthem protests: empty seats.
Throughout the league, stadiums could be seen with thousands of empty seats at kickoff, and, in some cases in the middle of the game.
Here is a pic with several empty, or near empty stadiums at kickoff on Sunday:
— Bradley Wilson (@brad_gohornsbkw) October 15, 2017
Note, that the Jets played New England on Sunday, meaning there should have been a big crowd for that game. The Texans, Atlanta, and Baltimore are also very relevant teams with relatively loyal fan bases. Yet, thousands upon thousands of fans no-showed or didn’t buy tickets for those games.
Here’s a shot of the Jaguars stadium at kickoff:
You know who isn't winning? The NFL. This was kickoff time in Jacksonville. Look at those empty seats! pic.twitter.com/fd7CwOuHk4
— Fistful of Doom (@fistfulofdoom) October 15, 2017
Granted, this is Jacksonville and they’ve never really packed the house. Yet, even by Jaguars standards, that’s empty. The fact that those same levels of emptiness can be seen at other stadiums throughout the league, means that the fan backlash against the NFL has now turned everyone into Jacksonville.
That’s a problem.