With all the media attention surrounding NFL players and teams that have been protesting during the national anthem, it’s no surprise that there was a poll taken to see what people really think.
— Mara Jade 🇺🇸 (@MaraJade_2017) September 29, 2017
I think if North Korea decides to bomb us, maybe the military should just take a knee and let the NFL players handle it. Merica.
— Cloyd Rivers (@CloydRivers) September 29, 2017
We already know how the President of the United States feels about the current predicament, but what about the rest of us? According to a recent poll by Seton Hall Sports Poll, the majority of people believe that these players have the right to protest, but it’s the way they’re doing it that’s the real issue at hand.
Of the 84% supporting the players’ right to protest, 49% felt they should find a different way to express their political opinions, and 35% felt that not standing for the anthem is an acceptable way to protest. There was a wide racial gap in those saying it was an acceptable form of protest with 70% of African-American choosing that option only 28% of whites doing so.
The poll of 845 adults (on both landline and cell phone) was conducted across the US on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday of this week. It has a margin of error of 3.4%.
Back in 2016 when the protesting began, thanks to Colin Kaepernick, a similar question was asked. The results showed that 80 percent supported the right to protest while 20 percent believed players should be cut if they refused to stand for the anthem. Not much of a difference in a year.
Asked specifically this week about players not standing during the playing of the anthem, 44% of all respondents disapproved, 32% approved, and 25% had no opinion or did not know. The responses to the same question about just Kaepernick a year ago were 47% disapproval and 27% approval.
“These attitudes are remarkably stable given all that has happened in this past year and the recent spike in attention being paid to the subject,” said Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll.
The poll also asked players how they felt about Trump’s recent response to the protests versus Roger Goodell’s. The President was calling for managers to fire players who didn’t stand during the anthem, while Goodell was proud of the league for doing the opposite.
The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations. The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can't kneel during our National Anthem!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 26, 2017
Seton Hall Sports Poll found that Trump had 28 percent support while Goodell received 50 percent. Among African-Americans Trump received six percent vs. 78 percent for Goodell, and white people were at 32 percent vs. 47 percent.
“This is an emotional issue for many people with obvious differences between whites and African-Americans,” Gentile said. “The overall support for the players’ right to protest — in some form — is heartening especially considering some of the divisive rhetoric we’ve heard revolving around this issue.”