NJ.com has collected and analyzed reports of companies that have stopped advertising during NFL games because of protests during the national anthem.
Their analysis shows almost all the advertisers who have pulled their ads are local. Car dealerships in New Jersey and Colorado pulled ads. The Colorado dealership dropped Von Miller – who knelt in protest – as a spokesperson.
Businessman Allan Jones of Cleveland also took his ads off the air, citing the “unpatriotic behavior demonstrated.”
Ohio gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci, a Republican who currently serves in the House of Representatives, said he would also elect to advertise elsewhere.
While rumors spread that Budweiser intended to stop advertising during NFL games, the company released a statement saying that was not the case. It is also not true that the companies behind erectile dysfunction drugs Viagra and Cialis pulled their ads over the controversy. Those companies have stopped advertising because their products are now available as generics.
While few advertisers have reacted, the NFL does stand to lose money from people canceling their DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket service. NJ.com discovered three bars that have also decided to stop showing NFL games.
The NFL is still developing a strategy to deal with the ongoing situation.
The controversial protests have been going on in some form for over a year. In August 2016, then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting police brutality against African-Americans by taking a knee during the national anthem. His protest caused a brief flurry of controversy – and, according to some, led to him being unofficially blackballed by NFL clubs. The furor was largely forgotten by the start of this season.
However, President Trump revived the controversy when he made some sharp remarks during an event for failed Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange. President Trump then lashed out over Twitter. This caused many players to take a knee in protest.
Representatives for the league and the players have discussed strategies for allowing players to support causes on and off the gridiron.
While NFL TV ratings have declined since 2016, a spokesperson said the league did not believe this was due to the protests. However, some advocacy groups have urged people to boycott the league and its advertisers until the protests stop.
Polls show people believe players should stand for the anthem. However, they also show people believe it is wrong to fire players who do not stand.