The NFL won’t survive its war against President Trump because football fans lean Republican, according to demographics.
Even before the president weighed in on the “taking a knee” controversy, the NFL was already hemorrhaging viewership after former quarterback Colin Kaepernick started protesting the national anthem in 2016, months before Trump took office.
“By and large, most NFL fans pull the lever for Republicans more often than they say they do —including most fans of ‘Democratic’ teams [in leftist cities],” reported Bloomberg in 2014. “In fact, the fan bases of 23 teams show a propensity to vote more Republican than they claim, versus only six teams’ fans who vote more Democratic.”
Furthermore, 77% of NFL fans are white, and 58% of white voters backed Trump in the election.
But here some statistics that really doom the NFL: First, its largest age demographic is over 55, and senior voters overwhelmingly supported Trump. Second, Americans making over $50K a year went to Trump, and that’s a money base the NFL is majorly dependent upon.
Additionally, the rise of the NFL in the 70s and 80s coincided with the rise of Schlafly-style conservatism.
“Why does the NFL have such a tenacious hold on the national consciousness — particularly that of white males, the primary fans of professional sports? It might be that the NFL, in both its high points and its low ones, encapsulates the prevailing white male conservative ethos of modern America better than any other league,” reported Reuters in 2014. “The triumph of the NFL is a tribute to the triumph of American conservatism.”
Is it any surprise then why the NFL is losing popularity? It’s actually plausible for the NFL to devolve into a regional sport like baseball, which was once a national draw but is now only mainly watched by devoted, urban fans of storied teams like the New York Yankees.