NFL Fan Poll: 80 Percent Say They’ll Watch Less Football, 53 Percent Support Trump More

Baltimore Ravens players, including former player Ray Lewis, second from right, kneel down during the playing of the U.S. national anthem before an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday Sept. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
AP Photo/Matt Dunham

The National Football League (NFL) may have more than a passing controversy on its hands as it continues to grapple with fans’ reaction to the players and staff  “take a knee” protest during the national anthem before games.

Yahoo Finance headlined its story about its poll with a finding of 62 percent of respondents who said they will watch less football — a percentage Yahoo determined based on how certain questions were answered or not answered:

“Here are the full survey results. The number of responses varies from question to question because some respondents skipped questions or were directed further down the survey based on answers they gave. A note about the results: In Question 9, 80% of respondents said they plan to watch less football on TV. But that’s only among people who answered yes to Question 8, asking if they have changed their behavior. When including the people who answered no to Question 8, the portion saying they plan to watch less football drops to 62%.”

But looking directly at results for each question on the survey also reveals that a majority of respondents said would watch less football and that they support President Donald Trump’s decision to speak out against the protests.

The raw data shows that when asked, “What has changed about your relationship with the NFL?” 80 percent said they will watch less football on TV because of the controversy and more than 53 percent said they are more supportive of Trump since his remarks last month that the protests are disrespectful to the U.S., its flag and the men and women in the military and law enforcement who sacrifice to protect all Americans.

In fact, 77 percent said they believe it is wrong for players to kneel during the national anthem — a protest begun in 2016 by a former NFL player who claimed he kneeled because of social injustice in the U.S.

It’s also noteworthy that 79 percent of respondents said they are a football fan, which Yahoo Finance explained is a statistic in keeping with its decision to only survey people who “patronize the NFL.”

“Those findings all have financial implications for the NFL and its 32 team owners,” Yahoo Finance reported.

Calling it “one of the most divisive social issues in recent years,” Yahoo Finance said of its poll:

“In our survey, we wanted to suss out whether the anthem flap could deal a lasting financial hit to the NFL. The answers suggest it could. When we asked fans if the controversy would make them more or less supportive of the NFL, 71% said less and only 15% said more. Of those who said they are now less supportive, 74% said their change of heart was permanent, and only 3% said they felt it was temporary.”


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