REPORT: Majority Of Voters Believe NFL Players Kneeling During Anthem Is Not Unpatriotic

A majority of voters in the United States believe NFL players are not being unpatriotic when kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem, according to a new poll released on Thursday by Quinnipiac University.

Per the poll results:

National Football League players who kneel in protest during the National Anthem are not unpatriotic, American voters say 58 – 35 percent in a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today. 

Republican voters say 70 – 23 percent that these NFL players are unpatriotic, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University National Poll finds. White voters with no college degree are divided 46 – 46 percent. All other listed party, gender, education, age and racial groups say they are not unpatriotic. 

American voters say 53 – 43 percent that professional athletes have the right to protest on the playing field or court. Men and women agree, but there are wide racial and party divisions:

Players have the right to protest, Democrats say 82 – 16 percent and independent voters say 54 – 42 percent. Republicans say 81 – 16 percent that players do not have the right to protest.

Black voters say 85 – 11 percent and Hispanic voters say 67 – 28 percent that players have the right to protest. White voters say 53 – 43 percent they do not have the right.

American voters support 51 – 42 percent the new NFL policy requiring players on the field to stand for the National Anthem. Independent voters are divided as 49 percent support this policy, with 44 percent opposed. 

But voters oppose 51 – 44 percent fining NFL teams if players on the field do not stand for the National Anthem. Men are divided 47 – 48 on the fining measure. Women oppose it 54 – 40 percent. 

“Voters are clearly torn on the National Anthem issue. They seem to be saying, ‘You can still love your country and kneel during its Anthem,’ but the NFL’s new ‘must stand’ mandate is fine with them, too,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

The findings come days after President Donald Trump resurfaced the national debate over athletes protesting police violence during NFL games on Monday when he dis-invited the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles from a traditional White House visit after many players declined to attend the event.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted from May 31 to June 5, surveying 1,223 voters nationwide via cellphones and landlines and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.