According to ESPN, Baltimore Ravens president Dick Cass sent a letter to season ticket holders this week, in which he blamed a dip in attendance at least in part on the fact that Ravens players knelt during the national anthem before a game in London.
“The numbers [of no-shows] are higher, and it is noticeable,” Cass wrote in the 656-word letter. “There are a number of reasons for the no-shows, but surely the one-time protest in London has been a factor.”
Again, this happened in London. Ravens players have never protested during the anthem at a home game. The closest they came was kneeling together in prayer before standing up for the anthem.
The Ravens’ 2017 attendance puts them right in the middle of the pack, and they should end up just about where they did in 2016 once the season is over. There’s nothing to do but roll your eyes at Cass and this letter, but do prepare yourself to start hearing more half-baked excuses in the future if the NFL’s popularity continues to stagnate. This is probably the last year anyone will have the anthem protests to blame, so next season it will probably be... dancing? Yeah, let’s go with dancing.