NFL Fans Want Players to Stand During National Anthem But Are Fine With Kneeling, Poll Finds

With the NFL season approaching, the expectation is that a majority of players will kneel during the national anthem in protest of police brutality. There are many political figures and viewers alike that have criticized this decision, but a recent poll discovered that the majority are "fine with the kneeling." This is a significant change from a 2018 iteration in which only 35% of polled fans agreed with then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling.

According to Yahoo Sports, the recent poll featured the question: "Is it OK for NFL players to kneel during the national anthem to protest police killings of African Americans?" Of the 1,570 Americans polled in early June, 52% supported kneeling. Another 36% of Americans said that it is inappropriate to kneel during the national anthem. The remaining 12% said that they were "not sure." The numbers also show that 52% of both males and females supported kneeling.

The poll further showed that the support for kneeling dwindled as the average age increased. Younger responders ranging 18-29 were more favorable of the idea, with 68% showing support. The number changed drastically among older responders. Only 36% of those polled over the age of 65 support kneeling.

In terms of political parties, 77% of Democrats supported NFL players kneeling during the season. Only 20% of Republicans took this stance, along with only 20% of self-described Trump voters. The vast majority strongly disagreed with players kneeling. Similar answers surfaced based on income level, with 63% of responders with more than $100,000 in income agreeing with kneeling. Only 49% of those with less than $50,000 in income showed support.

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Yahoo and YouGov asked another question about kneeling and whether or not responders initially supported Kaepernick back in 2016. Only 42% (40% of men and 45% of women) said that they supported the former QB when he first took a knee. Yahoo reports that this number declined based on age, income and political party but did not provide the details.

This is the second poll to surface in recent days that showed the change in public opinion. A recent Hill-HarrisX poll took place between July 26 and 27 that asked responders if they supported kneeling. In this iteration, 53% of registered voters said that it is appropriate to kneel during the national anthem. The remaining 47% disagreed and said that kneeling is not appropriate. The Hill-HarrisX poll also provided context based on political parties, showing that 76% of Democratic voters supported kneeling, as did 52% of independent voters. The majority of Republican voters disagreed, with 73% opposing the kneeling.