For the better part of two years, the NFL has struggled to regain its one-time top spot among America’s favorite pastimes.
However, a survey from the last four months proves that the effort has failed miserably as pro football has become “America’s most hated sport.”
Since August, America’s opinion of the NFL has fallen like a rock going from 23 percent unfavorable, to 38 percent by the end of November, and 57 percent favorable at the end of August to only 48 percent by November, according to the Winston Group Sports Survey.
No other sport came anywhere near the unfavorable numbers the NFL has earned this year. The closest is NASCAR with a 28 percent unfavorable rating. With no end in sight for the constant anti-American protests during the playing of the national anthem mounted by millionaire players who seem to consider themselves “oppressed,” these numbers are not likely to get better.
The survey did find a tiny improvement in unfavorables. At the end of October, 40 percent felt negatively about the league while a month later 38 percent stood against the NFL.
The newest monthly WG Sports Survey (November 29-30) found that the NFL brand improved very slightly, going from 44% favorable – 40% unfavorable in October to 48% favorable – 38% unfavorable. While this is a slight improvement, favorability is well below where it was in August when it was 57% favorable – 23% unfavorable. The question is whether this is a small start back toward the original brand standing, or a settling-in process for the new brand standing of the NFL with the public.
The survey found that the opinion of men fluctuated wildly going from only 22 percent unfavorable at the end of August to 39 percent unfavorable by the end of November — though, the numbers soared to 46 percent unfavorable in between.
The biggest tumble came among men between the ages of 35 and 54, the age demographic that the NFL most covets. At the end of August, the survey found that 73 percent of men in this age bracket had a positive view of the league. But by the end of November, that number had crashed to only 54 percent positive.
As to the opinion of America’s women, the NFL has steadily declined in favorable feelings even while ending up almost where the survey began. At the end of August, 48 percent of women had a positive feeling about the NFL. But that number fell steadily over the next few reporting periods going to 43 and then 41 percent favorable. But by the end of November, the women’s favorable number climbed back up to 47 percent.
Even with the fluctuations, though, favorables for the NFL are down 20 percent since early in August.
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