Nearly two-months of player protests during the performance of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ continues to take its toll on the National Football League, with pictures surfacing on social media that show empty stadiums and vacant parking lots across the country over the weekend.
As the NFL enters its eighth week of the season, sports fans continue to notice dwindling stadium attendance and even lower television viewership. President Trump slammed the player protests on social media on Monday, saying the NFL had “no leadership” after commissioner Roger Goodell refused to ask their athletes to remain standing during the anthem.
Furious fans noticed too, opting to stay home and watch something else over the weekend; with football stadiums across the country looking half empty as teams took the field.
“Swaths of empty seats here post kickoff,” tweeted the sports editor for the Associated Press.
Swaths of empty seats here post kickoff. pic.twitter.com/5hCHF89wkq
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) October 22, 2017
— Empty Seats Galore (@EmptySeatsPics) October 22, 2017
— Timothy Riethmiller (@thetimdeluxe) October 22, 2017
— Bradley Wilson (@brad_gohornsbkw) October 15, 2017
The NFL is struggling to ease tensions with furious fans over their professional athletes’ months-long protest of the national anthem. As ratings plummet, owners and officials are beginning to bar their players from “taking a knee” before the game. Earlier this month, just two teams –the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins- banned their athletes from “disrespecting” the anthem and the flag.