A Quinnipiac Poll finds that two-thirds of voters believe that NFL players have a right to protest during the national anthem. While the numbers split even on whether the players actually should protest during the nation’s song.
The findings of the poll which questioned 1,000 U.S. voters, were released on Thursday. Among the questions, was whether the voters approved or disapproved of the anthem protests.
According to NESN:
The results were an even split: 47 percent approved, while 47 percent disapproved and six percent didn’t answer, according to the poll.
These numbers represented a shift in voters’ opinion, though: When Quinnipiac asked U.S. voters the same question in November 2017, only 42 percent of participants approved of the protests, while 52 percent disapproved.
These findings suggest Americans are becoming more tolerant of the movement ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began during the 2016 preseason, when he refused to stand during the national anthem to protest social inequality and police brutality in America.
In response to whether the players have a right to protest in the first place, the findings left no doubt where voters stood.
The poll found “a majority of voters — 67 percent — believe NFL players have the right to protest by kneeling during the anthem, while just 30 percent believe they don’t have that right, according to the poll. The November 2017 poll found nearly identical results: 67 percent to 31 percent.
In a finding which could shed light on Nike’s decision to choose Colin Kaepernick as the face of their “Just Do It” ad campaign, the poll also queried respondents on their views of Nike’s decision to partner with the controversial former 49er.
According to NESN, “While there was no majority opinion, 49 percent of respondents said they approved of the move, compared to just 37 percent who disapproved.”
Clearly, the findings of this poll have to come as an extreme disappointment to President Trump. Who has spent much of his time as president, and as a candidate, railing against Colin Kaepernick and the protest movement that he founded.
While the anthem protests and Nike’s decision to hire Kaepernick remains a wildly unpopular topic in conservative circles. The poll’s findings, if accurate, suggest that Republican lawmakers would be better off focusing on the anthem protests as a primary issue. As opposed to a potentially winning issue in a general election.
From September 6 – 9, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,038 voters nationwide, with a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points, including design effect. Live interviewers call landlines and cell phones.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn