This research is based on 3 different surveys conducted over several NFL football seasons. The first study investigated the impact of the Anthem Protest Movement on the attitude of NFL fans. The “Anthem Protest” reemerged during the 2020 season during the “lockdown” season associated with the COVID epidemic. Co-mingled with COVID and societal unrest, many analysts were predicting irreparable harm to the NFL’s once indomitable position as America’s favorite sport resulting from this confluence of events. Given the importance of the topic in terms of future NFL fan support, this report looks back over the last several NFL seasons to investigate whether any trends in viewership and NFL fan support can be determined.

One of the key objectives of the research was to investigate whether there was any significant attitudinal difference between black and white college students regarding their respective opinions on the impact the Anthem Protest Movement might have on interest in watching NFL football games. The findings indicate that while white students had stronger negative feelings toward the athletes participating in the protest, the Anthem Protest has not resulted in significant harm to the sport among younger fans of the NFL. Further, while COVID had an initial negative impact on viewership interest, this effect has apparently been eliminated as a concern.



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