The financial effects of allowing these anthem protests to take place unabated are already beginning to materialize for the NFL. According to Paul Bedard’s Washington Secrets column, ticket sales have taken a tumble in the days since Sunday’s shameful display. And if the NFL doesn’t get out in front of this mess pretty soon, they could be staring down the barrel of a self-inflicted wound that will take them years to recover from.

From Bedard’s column:

The National Football League is feeling the impact of the “Trump Effect.”

Ticket sales since he called on team owners to fire players who take a knee to protest the National Anthem have cratered.

The online ticket reseller TickPick told Secrets that sales have dropped 17.9 percent, far more than the usual Week Three fall.

“We have seen a massive decrease in NFL ticket purchases this past week in comparison to years past. Week 3 seems to usually have less ticket orders than week 2, but this year ticket purchases are down more than 7 percent from this time last year,” said TickPick’s Jack Slingland.

TickPick isn’t the only seller reported diminished returns. Thanks to the NFL’s dumb decision to side with anti-American protesters instead of simply…enforcing their own rules…they are going to be answering to the only people that really matter: The fans. And if this week’s reaction is anything to go by, the fans are decidedly NOT on the side of the protesters.

For all we know, this could simply be a blip on the radar. The NFL, after all, does have a built-in fanbase of some of the most passionate sports enthusiasts in the country. Even many fans who are disgusted with the protests will not be able to bring themselves to fully cut the games out of their lives. It’s too much a part of who they are.

But the reality for the NFL may also be WORSE than the initial signs indicate. Fan interest could drop off gradually. Sure, there will be the Trump/boycott effects, but that’s only the first wave. Eventually, as fans begin to really take a second look at what’s become of their National Football League, they may ultimately decide that they wouldn’t be losing much by turning it off. That, indeed, the NFL today bears little in common with the NFL they grew up with. That it, like so many other great American institutions, has just becomes another avenue for the left to push their sick agenda on the country. And once that realization dawns nationwide, the NFL could be facing a hole from which it cannot recover.

Right now, the league still has a chance to win the fans back.

The question is: Are they willing to do what it takes?