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NBA and MLB Suffer Major Ratings Defeats as Protests Dominate Sports Headlines

They should have asked the NFL how that worked out for them…

As with all things in the year of our Lord 2020, the wide world of sports is suffering a high strangeness that we may never have imagined before.

The seasons are abbreviated, at least for now, with some serious doubt lurking about whether or not we’ll even complete these shortened campaigns at all.  Over the weekend, nearly a quarter of all MLB games were either postponed, rescheduled, or canceled on account of COVID-19, and the entire PAC-12 football conference has threatened not to play on account of fears that the NCAA will not be able to keep them safe.

On top of that, both the MLB and NBA have seen a number of players expressing their First Amendment right to protest – something that has been a sticking point for some sports fans who tune in to their favorite games to escape the political fracas of the world around them.

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This has led to a ratings rout for the two leagues.

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As the NBA and MLB return from their coronavirus-imposed hiatus, it appears TV viewers are not interested in what the increasingly woke leagues have to offer.

With both baseball and basketball draped in all sorts of Black Lives Matter and social justice symbolism for their opening games, a substantially smaller number of fans tuned-in to the rest of the week’s games.

According to, neither league did well.

As for the opening games, Outkick reported that the return of the NBA on TNT saw the following numbers:

Lakers-Clippers: 3.4 million
Pelicans-Jazz: 2.1 million

ESPN’s MLB return numbers were also underwhelming:

Yankees-Nationals: 4.0 million
Dodgers-Giants: 2.8 million

After Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players began protesting by kneeling during the National Anthem back in 2017, the NFL suffered a tremendous loss of revenue and ratings as well, leading many to believe that the intersection of politics and playing ball is a big turnoff for Americans.

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