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Trump Targets NFL For Ratings Decline, Suggests Networks Air Players Standing

President Donald Trump ripped the NFL for a ratings decline on Sunday, suggesting “ratings could come back” if players stood for the national anthem on camera.

“Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison,” he wrote. “Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade.”

“If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back?” he asked. “Otherwise worse!”

Trump’s broadcasting advice to the NFL came after the first official game of the new season saw a drop in ratings. With 19 million viewers, the Eagles-Falcons matchup marked a 13% decline for NBC from last year’s first game between the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs.

The game started an hour late because of rain, and per Deadline ratings peaked at 21.7 in the first 15 minutes of the broadcast.

All players appeared to stand for the national anthem in the game, with the exception of Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett, who appeared to sit at the end of the anthem.

[Photo by Mandel Ngan/Getty Images]

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