Report: NFL ratings up for week 3 despite player protests, Trump pressure

The Dallas Cowboys, led by owner Jerry Jones, center, take a knee prior to the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - The topic dominating social media this weekend was player protests in the NFL in an apparent feud with President Donald Trump.

Many players took a knee, locked arms in unity or even stayed in the locker room during the national anthem after President Trump called protesting NFL players out during a speech in Alabama last week.

During the speech, Trump said players should be fired for kneeling during the national anthem and called them "sons of b******."

On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted:

"Ratings for NFL football are way down except before game starts, when people tune in to see whether or not our country will be disrespected!"

According to NBC Sports and Pro Football Talk, ratings for the league's week three games were up from weeks one and two and up from 2016 numbers.

The Dallas Cowboys versus the Arizona Cardinals Monday Night Football game on ESPN received a 9.3 overnight rating. That's the highest-rated Monday night game of the four that have been played so far this year. Two Monday night games were played in week one.

RELATED | Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones kneels before the national anthem

Pro Football Talk also reports that number is up from last year when the week three Monday night game competed with a presidential debate. But, the first four Monday night games this year have seen nearly a 17-percent increase in viewership.

Sunday's ratings were reportedly up on CBS, but down on Fox and NBC. NBC's Sunday Night Football ratings were dampened by a blowout between the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders. Overall, week three NFL ratings were up about 3 percent from 2016.

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