What do Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Obamacare, and President Trump all have in common? All of those people, and institution, have higher favorability numbers than the NFL.
According to a Fox News poll released on Thursday, the NFL’s net favorability rating comes in at 42%. Only former FBI Director Robert Mueller, Rudy Giuliani, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Roseanne Barr, have lower favorability numbers.
The NFL’s lack of popularity stands out even more, when looking back at where the league was only five years ago. In October of 2013, the league had a 64% favorability rating. By October of 2017, those numbers had fallen to 46%, and now, to 42% Numbers which show a 22% decline in the league’s popularity in less than five years.
Even more disconcerting, is the fact that only 21% of men under 45 have a strongly favorable view of the league. While only 19% over the age of 45 have a strongly favorable view. Conversely, 24% of men over 45 had a strongly unfavorable view of the league. Given the NFL’s male dominated demographic, particularly among middle-aged and older males, these numbers do not bode well.
At 43%, the league hits an all-time low in unfavorability among registered voters.
The league’s stunning decline in popularity also proves — in large part — why the NFL chose to enact it’s new anthem policy which requires players on the field to stand.
The NFL anthem protests have become a focal point, and the single most controversial issue confronting the league over the last three seasons. President Trump jumped into the firestorm last year after he called protesting players “SOB’s,” and said he wished their team owners would fire them.
Two weeks ago, the NFL enacted a new policy requiring all players on the field to stand for the national anthem. Since then, the players have voiced discontent over the new policy. Culminating in an event on Tuesday, when the president decided to cancel the Eagles White House visit, after the team announced they would send only “2 or 3 players” to the event.
The Fox News Poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) andShaw & Company Research (R). The poll was conducted by telephone with live interviewersJune 3-6, 2018 among a random national sample of 1,001 registered voters (RV).
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn