Amidst the hubbub surrounding President Trump’s condemnation of football players kneeling for the national anthem and his statements that such players should be fired, those on the Left and those on the Right have assumed that their side is likely to benefit from the controversy. So, who’s right?
We now have three polls on the issue. Here’s how it breaks down.
Americans Hate Kneeling For The Anthem. The polls show that Americans don’t like players kneeling for the anthem. According to the Reuters/Ipsos poll, 69% of Americans say they stand in silence while the national anthem is played. And just 40% of Americans agree with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s stance on the issue, compared with 51% who disagree.
Americans Are In Favor Of Requiring Players To Stand. According to the Reuters/Ipsos poll, 58% of Americans believe that players should be required by the NFL to stand for the anthem, to 33% opposing. That same poll shows that 43% of Americans oppose how the NFL is handling the issue.
Americans Are Split On Firing Players, But Largely Oppose. The Cato Institute survey found that 61% of Americans opposed firing players for failing to stand for the national anthem. There are serious partisan splits on the issue: Democrats oppose firings by an 80% to 19% margin, with Republicans are in favor 65% to 34%. In the GOP Firehouse Strategies poll of swing states, 38.1% agree that players should be fired, while 39.1% disagree. The rest aren’t sure. The Reuters/Ipsos poll suggested that only 29% of Americans wanted players fired for failing to stand, to 57% opposed.
President Trump’s numbers in these polls aren’t good – just 35% of Americans believe Trump should have commented on the issue, according to the Reuters/Ipsos poll. But there’s enough evidence here to suggest that both sides will continue to think that they’re winning, even though the public is more unified than polarized.