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URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournalism.com/week-nfl-pictures-reveal-nearly-empty-stadiums-fans-lash-back-protests/?

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It’s not quite the No Fan League yet, but on Sunday, NFL stadiums illustrated the damage that has been done by the seemingly endless national anthem protests, which have driven away thousands of football fans.

Dylan Gwinn, writing on Breitbart, called it the “’new normal’ in the age of anthem protests: empty seats.”

Multiple games were played with clearly visible holes in the stands.

In Jacksonville, Florida, the smallest crowd since 2009 watched the Jaguars lose to the LA Rams 27-17, according to the Florida Times-Union. The crowd of 56,232 was about 5,000 fewer fans than the audience that attended the team’s home opener.

“Granted, this is Jacksonville and they’ve never really packed the house. Yet, even by Jaguars standards, that’s empty,” Gwinn wrote.

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The Jaguars weren’t the only team to suffer this fate. As can be seen below, many other stadiums experienced a visible drop in attendance.

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“The fact that those same levels of emptiness can be seen at other stadiums throughout the league, means that the fan backlash against the NFL has now turned everyone into Jacksonville. That’s a problem,” Gwinn wrote.

Not so, said Jacksonville defensive tackle Malik Jackson.

“We only worry about the people who come support us,” he said. “If you don’t want to come support us because of the views we have off the field, that’s your problem and I think you have to look at yourself.”

The lackluster attendance has added to the NFL’s concerns as it approaches a lease meeting at which the protests will be discussed. However, the league has already indicated it is not likely to require players to stand, as demanded by President Donald Trump.

CBS Sports quoted a source predicting how the meetings might go.

“Basically, the message from the NFL is going to be that it has empathy for its players and the situation they now find themselves in,” the source said. “And therefore you’ve seen no enforcement of the rule about the anthem in the gameday manual. But now this has morphed into something that is seen as divisive and disrespectful toward the flag and our servicemen and women by a segment of the country, and that’s not what was intended by the players or the NFL.

“So the league is going to encourage the players to follow the gameday manual and vow to continue to engage directly with players and the NFLPA on a platform to work for positive change in their communities. It’s not going to be – ‘If you don’t stand then you are going to get fined.’ Some owners might favor that, but that’s not the intention here,” the source added.

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