Compared to last season's numbers, the NFL is experiencing a serious decline in TV ratings across the board. Sunday Night Football on NBC is down by 19 percent, while ESPN's Monday Night Football has fallen by 24 percent. As the league continues to search for answers to remedy the problem, LeBron James has some thoughts on why viewership is so low. "I've heard some of the comments from some of the players, as far as the game, the fun part of it is kind of being taken away. And I know when I played football, I played it for that reason," James told ESPN. "For the competition, one, and for the fun of it ... I've seen a couple of the main guys talk about how the game is not as fun."
This may have something to do with the league taking a hard stance on light-hearted matters like over-the-top touchdown celebrations, something that has earned the NFL a reputation as the "No Fun League." "It's all political, things of that nature, at this point," James said. "You definitely don't want to take the fun away from the game. That's why we all fell in love with sports in general is because you have fun with it at the beginning."
Even though he has heard this complaint from players from around the league, LeBron also admits that he doesn't know where the problem lies. "But I'm not the commish. I'm not on the board. I don't know what [the explanation is]. Football is such a great sport, but I don't have the answer for why fewer people are watching." Another reason for the low ratings may have something to do with how violent the game of football is. Back in 2014, James told ESPN that his sons, LeBron Jr. and Bryce Maximus, wouldn't be allowed to play the sport until high school when "they understand how physical and how demanding the game is."
"It's a safety thing," James said. "As a parent you protect your kids as much as possible. I don't think I'm the only one that's not allowing his kids to play football, it's just that I'm LeBron James and it gets put in the headlines for no reason." The growing concerns over safety and long-term effects on the players have also played an important role in viewers tuning out. It's no secret that the game of football is incredibly dangerous. Now, people are refusing to watch the violence play out right before their eyes.
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