Just this morning I was musing over the new kneeling ban in the NFL and what led to the outpouring of anger from fans. While mulling that over, I concluded that the new policy likely wouldn’t make much of a difference at this point because too much water has passed under the bridge. But a new survey released by SurveyMonkey this week provides at least a hint that I may have been wrong. After a lot of bad polling days for the league, a solid majority of respondents are now saying that they support the new policy.
Americans—and especially NFL fans—are supportive of the league’s recently-announced policy to fine teams whose players kneel on the field during the national anthem. More than half of adults in the U.S. (54 percent) say they approve of the policy, while just 43 percent disapprove. Among those who call themselves NFL fans, 56 percent approve and 42 percent disapprove. Drilling down even further, “big fans” of the NFL approve by a margin of 59-40.
More than four in 10 people (42 percent) say that kneeling during the national anthem “is not related to patriotism.” Nearly as many (41 percent) say that kneeling during the national anthem is unpatriotic–almost three times more than the number of respondents who think it is patriotic (14 percent).
A majority of people (55 percent) say it is fair for teams to be fined for a player’s actions. About as many (57 percent) say that the ability for players to stay inside the locker room during the national anthem rather than kneeling on the field is a fair compromise.
You can read the full results here. There are several clear demographic breaks in the responses. Democrats were far less impressed with the new policy, with 65% disapproving and 67% saying it would be unfair to fine the teams for the actions of the players. But 81% of Republicans approved, with only 19% disapproving.
The racial divide was almost equally stark, with whites approving at a rate of 59% while only 38% of blacks do. That may still prove troubling for the league since an even more interesting question had to do with who considers themselves fans or “big fans” of football. 68% of black respondents said they were fans, while 53% of whites did.
With all that in mind, I have to wonder if the plan among some players which Allahpundit reported on the other day will have much of an effect. If any significant number of starters who will have a real impact on their teams’ prospects decide to “sit out” the games until Kaepernick and Eric Reid are signed, how would the fans of their individual teams respond? I know that if any of the Jets’ starters decided to do that and reduce our already comically low shot at a Super Bowl ring even further, I’d be pretty ticked off at the players, not the league. But then again, am I in the minority there? From the looks of this poll, I’m guessing I’m not.
Anyway, that’s just some recent polling for you to mull over until the preseason kicks off. (Assuming it actually does.)