A new poll finds that 33 percent of responding NFL fans said they boycotted the 2017 season by refusing to watch or attend games, and former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick was the leading reason.
The survey from SurveyMonkey and Ozy Media found that a large number of fans stopped watching the NFL on TV this season and Kaepernick was cited as the main reason both for detractors and fans of his protests, Yahoo Finance reported.
The survey was conducted from Dec. 8-11 of 2017 and polled 1,726 adults ages 18 and up. Of the respondents, 1,233 said they were football fans.
The main question on the topic asked respondents the following: “Did you purposely stop watching or attending NFL games this season for any reason?”
The largest number who answered “yes” went on to note that they were boycotting the NFL because they were angry about the national anthem protests invented by former second-string quarterback Colin Kaepernick. 22 percent cited their anger at Kaepernick’s protests and their support of President Donald Trump as the reason they were boycotting.
However, Kaepernick also figured in among boycotters who are fans of his protests. 12 percent said they boycotted the 2017 season because Kaepernick had not been signed to a new team for the season.
Another 22 percent said were boycotting the NFL during the 2017 season because they support the players kneeling and oppose those who are angered by the protests.
Some other reasons were also noted: 13 percent said they had “no interest in the teams playing,” 11 percent said “news about traumatic brain injuries among players” made them sign off from football, 8 percent said football had become boring; and a full 46 percent said “other reasons” caused them to quit their TV football watching habit.
Respondents also broke along male and female lines. Men said they boycotted the league in support of Trump at a higher rate than women. 35 percent of men said they supported Trump as opposed to 25 percent of women. Women also said they supported the players protesting more than men did (30 percent to 17 percent). Women also supported Kaepernick himself more than men (17 percent to 10 percent).
All told, it appears that the player protests figured as the top reason fans boycotted the NFL during the 2017 TV broadcast season. While the largest number citing the protests did so because they were angry or disgusted by Kaerpernick’s invention, a smaller, but still significant number of boycotters said they put an end to their TV football habit because they supported Kaepernick’s protests and boycotted in support of them.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.