Surprising Ratings for Monday Night Football After Protests

September 26, 2017 Updated: September 26, 2017

The ratings for Monday Night Football are in and some may find them surprising.

Ratings declined on Sunday after a day of protests by more than 200 football players who knelt during the National Anthem.

On Monday, the entire Dallas Cowboys team, including owner Jerry Jones, took a knee before the National Anthem.

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Members of the Dallas Cowboys link arms and kneel during the National Anthem before the start of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Sept. 25, 2017. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

But the entire team then stood up in respect when the national anthem began.

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Quarterback Dak Prescott, #4 of the Dallas Cowboys, links arms with teammates offensive tackle Tyron Smith, #77, and offensive guard Chaz Green, #79, during the national anthem before the start of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Arizona. (Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

The Cowboys’ show of respect for the National Anthem may have boosted the viewership ratings. According to NBC, the Monday’s game drew season-high viewership.

The Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals snagged a 9.3 rating on Sept. 25, the highest so far this season. The game also drew 7 percent more viewers than last week’s Monday Night Football game between the New York Giants and the Detroit Lions.

Monday Night Football also had a higher average viewership year-to-date compared to 2016.

The number of football players kneeling during “Star Spangled Banner” shot up after President Donald Trump said that players who disrespect the anthem should be fired.

On Sunday, following Trump’s comments, more than 200 players from different teams knelt during the anthem. Fans booed¬†loudly at stadiums across the country. Some fans posted videos online showing them burning their favorite teams’ jerseys and memorabilia.

On Monday, after the Cowboys knelt, the stadium crowd booed loudly, prompting a Tweet from Trump in response to the protest.

“The booing at the NFL football game last night, when the entire Dallas team dropped to its knees, was loudest I have ever heard,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Great anger.”

Trump followed shortly after with a message praising the team after they stood during the playing of the national anthem.

“But while Dallas dropped to its knees as a team, they all stood up for our National Anthem,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Big progress being made-we all love our country!”

The first NFL player to kneel for the National Anthem was Colin Kaepernick, who did so to protest what he said was racial injustice and police brutality. No team has since hired the quarterback and he remains a free agent.

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Colin Kaepernick, #7, of the San Francisco 49ers, kneels in protest during the national anthem prior to playing the Los Angeles Rams in their NFL game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on Sept. 12, 2016. (Robert Reiners/Getty Images)

Trump suggested a new rule for the NFL in a Twitter message to his 39.3 million followers on Tuesday.

“The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations,” the president wrote. “The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can’t kneel during our National Anthem!”