When black athletes kneel when the Star Spangled Banner is being played at the start of NFL games, they are not disrespecting the American flag or the National Anthem. Hillary Clinton said kneeling is the way that football players resist the White House.

The former secretary of state stressed that kneeling is a reverent position, The New York Post reported. She explained that kneeling demonstrates in a peaceful way against racism and injustice in the country’s criminal system.

Continue to resist Trump

While promoting her book “What Happened,” at the London Literature Festival at Southbank Centre, Clinton challenged the Democratic Party to go on with resisting US President Donald Trump.

She believes it would be a grave error if her political party were to back out of the fight against Trump. “We have to stand up, fight back, resist,” she said.

TV networks, however, are getting worried over the impact of kneeling NFL athletes on ratings. Nielsen data said that through Week 5, the NFL TV ratings went down 7.2 percent. The average 15.2 million viewers through Week 5 was down from the average of 16.371 million for the same period in the 2016 season.

It represented the second year of lower TV ratings of 7.42 percent from the 2015 season when average viewers through Week 5 was 18.438 million.

While footballers kneel, TV networks show commercials

Sporting News reported that because of the impact of the kneeling footballers on TV viewership, the networks opted to stay in commercial breaks while the national anthem was being played.

After the commercial break, announcers and analysts from CBS, Fox, and NBC no longer commented or reported on what happened while the “Star Spangled Banner” played.

For Monday night’s airing of the Titans vs. Colts game, ESPN plans not to show the players kneeling or the audience booing the athletes. The strategy paid off for CBS because overnight, the TV ratings for the Steelers-Chiefs match on Week 6 went up 7 percent from the game of the Bengals vs.

Colts last season. On NBC, the ratings for the Broncos-Giants game jumped by 21 percent from the Colts-Texan game in 2016.

Given the higher TV ratings, the policy of not airing the NFL players’ protest – notwithstanding Clinton’s support for the footballers – will likely continue for the rest of the NFL season, sports observers said.

Two fan groups have expressed their sentiment in social media about the kneeling. The #NoKaepernickNoNFL fans said they will boycott the NFL until Kaepernick get a job again, while the #BoycottNFL fans found the protests un-patriotic and un-American.