By Christy Strawser
September 20, 2016 10:46 AM
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers kneels in protest during the national anthem prior to playing the Los Angeles Rams in their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 12, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.
James Olson, a Sports Illustrated subscriber since fourth grade, watches action-packed NFL games on TV to escape from the endless round of political bickering playing out on other channels.
But with more national anthem protests cropping up, he feels like politics has taken over his favorite sport, too. So he’s tuning out.
“I want to say to these guys ‘If you weren’t playing in the NFL, you would be working at McDonalds. I think people have had it,” said, Olson, a Birmingham, Mich., resident.
He’s not alone.
The NFL opener, a Super Bowl rematch between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, brought 25.2 million viewers — which is an astonishing number of eyeballs. “For comparison, The Walking Dead averages around 14 million live viewers as TV’s most-watched show,”Forbes wrote.
But that’s down 8 percent from 2015 and 6 percent from 2014. Sunday’s numbers, Forbes added, were down 13 percent from last year.
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