NFL owners and representatives from the players union are meeting today in New York to discuss a way forward through the protests and the resulting boycott that has left television ratings and attendance down by more than 17%
From the NFL:
“On Tuesday, before a regularly-scheduled meeting of the league’s owners in New York, players, their union’s leaders and owners will gather to try to find a way to move on. Players have been meeting with a handful of owners and league executives since August, discussing ways the league could support players’ efforts on social issues. But while a joint statement released last week by the league and the union emphasized that there has been no change to the league’s current policy, which does not require players to stand for the anthem, the hope for this meeting is that players and owners might at least move toward a solution that will bring most of the protests to an end, while also advancing the players’ goals.”
Pictures of empty stadiums spread quickly on social media over the weekend as fans continue their boycott of the NFL season. In major US cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, seats were left empty and tickets went unsold. Some analysts predict that ticket sales have been down more than 30% over the past two weeks.
Television ratings have also suffered, as fans have tuned out.
“Fans are tuning in, seeing players on their teams kneeling or sitting during the anthem, and they are flipping the channel. They aren’t having it,” wrote one sports reporter.
The NFL isn’t the only organization suffering from the nation-wide boycott. Fans have also called on major sponsors to drop their advertising of NFL games, but these sponsors are continuing to spend money yet reaching an even smaller audience.
Although the league, owners, and players will be meeting on Tuesday, fans shouldn’t expect a change — especially with players promising that the protests will continue to grow in coming weeks.