SEATTLE — With the Seahawks opting to remain in the locker room Sunday during the national anthem, many people on social media said they would boycott watching the game against the Titans.
So, did they? KIRO 7 compared the ratings.
We looked at the first two Seahawks’ games this year versus Sunday’s game.
The first two games of the year posted a 40.7 household rating. Sunday’s game posted a 34.5, for a decrease of 15 percent.
The ratings were down even more in the ages 25 to 54 demographic, with the first two games posting a 32.7 share in that group Sunday’s game posting a 24.1 share for a decrease of 26 percent.
Looking at last year, the Hawks posted a 29.7 for ages 25 to 54 for the average of games that aired only on KCPQ, so comparing it to that total, they are still down 19 percent for Sunday's game.
Colin Kaepernick was the first to draw attention to taking a knee during the national anthem. Other players followed, including the Seahawks' Michael Bennett, saying they were expressing the United States' unfair treatment of people of color. Some cited racial inequality, others pointed specifically to police brutality.
But the topic exploded when President Donald Trump suggested that National Football League owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he encouraged spectators to walk out in protest.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you'd say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He's fired,'" Trump said to loud applause Friday night at a rally in Huntsville, Alabama.
His comments continued in the following days on Twitter.
"If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!" Trump said in a Sunday morning tweet.
After Trump made his remarks, Seattle Seahawks players took to social media to respond. See the responses embedded below.
“The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed,” Richard Sherman wrote. “If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!”
By Sunday's game between the Seahawks and the Titans, both teams declined to take the field Sunday.
The Seahawks released the following statement.
"As a team, we have decided we will not participate in the national anthem," the statement reads. "We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms."
Cox Media Group