A nearly 10,000 person poll found that a majority of those who watched less NFL games last season did so because of player protests:
Clearly, there was a faction of fans that were upset over Kaepernick's protest, and other players joining him. But, how many are we really talking about? Steve Andress, formerly of Colts.com, pointed this out by doing the math:
That still represents the largest percentage of fans (26%) who watched less games last season, but isn't a huge group given the overall poll's size of NFL viewers.
However, the league will have to do something to curtail its rash of negative publicity. An 8% ratings drop from 2015 is a big deal, regardless of what reason fans were/are tuning in less.