A majority (58 percent) of American voters believe National Football League players who “take a knee” during the playing of the national anthem are not “unpatriotic,” according to a poll released today by Quinnipiac University.
The poll follows president Trump's decision to "disinvite" the Super Bowl champions Philadelphia Eagles to the White House and his ensuing "patriotic event" on the South Lawn.
Quinnipiac found a huge chasm between Democrats and Republicans on the patriotism issue. Eighty-five percent of Democrats say kneeling players are not unpatriotic, while 70 percent of Republicans say they are.
Sixty percent of Independent voters side with Democrats on the issue.
Voters split by a 53 percent to 43 percent margin on whether players have the right to protest on the field or court.
The NFL’s new rule requiring players on-the-field to stand for the anthem won support of 51 percent of the respondents. Forty-two percent oppose the rule.
More than half (51 percent) of respondents though feel that on-the-field players who refuse to stand during the anthem should not be fined, while 44 percent support fines.
Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, said the survey shows that Americans are clearly torn the by national anthem issue. “They seem to be saying, “You can still love your country and kneel during the anthem, but the NFL’s new “must stand’ mandate is fine with them, too.”
Rubenstein does PR for the Quinnipiac University Poll.