Ohio Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill was not happy about the 12 Browns players that protested during the national anthem by taking a knee and praying prior to their matchup with the Giants Monday night.
He even went so far as to accuse athletes of being draft dodgers even though there hasn’t been a draft since 1973.
“I will never attend a sporting event where the draft-dodging millionaire athletes disrespect the veterans who earned them the right to be on that field,” he said in a Facebook post. “Shame on you all.”
While it has been well-documented that the NFL’s television ratings were down in 2016, more people actually watched the league’s games last season than the previous year.
The total number of people who watched any regular-season game grew by 5 million in 2016, SportsBusiness Journal reported Monday, and a Fox Sports executive pointed to those numbers as evidence that Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest had no negative impact on viewership.
“That is in conflict with the idea of a boycott (by fans upset about Kaepernick’s actions),” Fox Sports executive vice president of research, league operations and strategy Mike Mulvihill told SBJ. “If there was really a meaningful boycott going on, you’d see reach go down. And we didn’t.”
That’s not to say the NFL’s overall ratings dip had nothing to do with politics — it just wasn’t Kaepernick’s politics. Mulvihill cited coverage of the presidential election as the top factor in fewer people choosing to tune into football on a regular basis than in previous years.
The SBJ report notes that the trend could continue into 2017 due to continued strong ratings for cable news networks covering President Donald Trump’s administration.