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Poll: People Stopped Watching the NFL Because of Colin Kaepernick

A plurality of people surveyed said that they stopped watching the NFL because of the quarterback’s national anthem protests.

A new poll from J.D. Power of NFL viewers who had started to watch less games showed that the main reason for the decreased viewership was Colin Kaepernick’s anti-national anthem protests, according to ESPN.

The survey revealed that 26 percent of those who watched fewer games had tuned out due to Kaepernick’s protests. The second-most popular reason dealt with the NFL’s handling of issues related to rules and off-field player conduct at 24 percent.

According to ESPN, the NFL suffered a viewership drop this past season:

NFL game viewership on networks that broadcast games was down an average of 8 percent for the 2016 regular season versus the season before. Before the election (Nov. 8), games for the first nine weeks were down 14 percent compared to 2015. The final eight weeks saw only a drop of 1 percent compared to Weeks 10-17 in 2015.

Throughout the 2016 season, Kaepernick would kneel during the national anthem in protest on behalf of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Kaepernick, who played for the San Francisco 49ers for the past six season, remains a free agent this offseason. Some observers have attributed Kaepernick’s unemployment to his activism, while ignoring the fact that his team only won two games last season.