A majority of Americans don’t want to see NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.
According to a poll conducted by NBC and the Wall Street Journal, 54 percent of Americans find kneeling during the national anthem to be “inappropriate.” Only 43 percent of respondents found kneeling to be an appropriate form of protest.
The NFL’s real problem isn’t that people find the national anthem protest to be inappropriate, but that more Americans aren’t watching the games at all.
The survey results showed that 31 percent of Americans don’t follow the NFL “closely.” That is up 10 percent from 2014.
Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, was the first NFL player to take a knee during the anthem to draw attention to the issue of police brutality.
After Kaepernick knelt, many players joined him, causing the issue to become a national controversy and key campaign issue in some states like Texas.
President Donald Trump has been an outspoken critic of the national anthem protests.
At least 24 players kneeling this weekend at NFL stadiums that are now having a very hard time filling up. The American public is fed up with the disrespect the NFL is paying to our Country, our Flag and our National Anthem. Weak and out of control!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 28, 2017
The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The $40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2018
The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their “outrage” at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
The NFL attempted to implement a policy to force players to either stand or wait in the locker room during the song, but the players’ union is fighting the policy and some players are still kneeling this season.
In response to this wavering, some networks, including CBS and ESPN, stopped broadcasting the anthem, causing yet another wave of backlash.
While some are trying to bury the issue, others have embraced the anthem. Some teams, like Jerry Jones‘ Dallas Cowboys, vowed to have every player out and standing during the anthem.