The National Football League is steadily climbing its way up the list of most polarizing brands in the country.
While the net favorability of the NFL among Hillary Clinton voters is +38%, it's -24% among supporters of President Trump, The New York Times writes. That puts it seventh on the list, after Trump Hotels, CNN, NBC News, The New York Times, MSNBC and Fox News.
About three weeks ago — before President Trump said that N.F.L. owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem — Democrats and Republicans held relatively similar views about the league. About 60 percent said they viewed it favorably, while about 20 percent said they viewed it unfavorably, according to daily online surveys conducted by Morning Consult, a polling, media and technology company.
Since Mr. Trump’s remarks, though, many of his supporters have changed their attitudes.
Trump voters are now much more likely to say that they view the N.F.L. negatively, reflecting a sharp change around Sept. 23, when Mr. Trump criticized the players at a speech in Alabama. The views of Hillary Clinton voters have not changed appreciably over the last few weeks.
The Times attributes the wide gap between Clinton and Trump voters to "our collective filter bubbles, which make Americans more likely to engage with and share articles that reinforce their views." But while both Trump and Clinton voters said they had seen, read or heard about 25% "negative" stories about the NFL before Trump began tweeting about the protests, that number soared to above 50% for Clintonites and to at least 75% for Trumpettes afterward.
It’s hard to know if or when Americans’ views of the N.F.L. will go back to how they were before these protests. President Trump has continued to fuel the controversy, directing insulting tweets this week at Jemele Hill of ESPN; the N.F.L. players who protested; and the league itself. On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence walked out of an Indianapolis Colts game when some players on the visiting team knelt during the national anthem. (President Trump said he directed Mr. Pence to do so.)
"But a lesson of outrage in 2017 is that its lifespan is always decreasing," the Times declares.
The NFL went from being America’s sport to the least liked sport in America in the span of just a few weeks after players, coaches, and owners protested the national anthem, The Daily Wire reported on Monday.
Fans who viewed the NFL as favorable dropped from 57% down to 44% from August to the end of September — while the league’s unfavorable rating increased to 40%, the highest of all college and professional sports, according to the Winston Group survey, provided exclusively to the Washington Examiner on Saturday.
The poll revealed that the NFL’s core group of fans, men 34-54, were most turned off to the national anthem protests:
According to the poll analysis, "more critically for the NFL, the fall off in favorables occurred among important audiences. Among males, NFL favorables fell 23 percent, going from 68 percent to 45 percent. In looking at a more specific audience, males 34-54, NFL favorables fell 31 percent, going from 73 percent to 42 percent. Among this group the NFL has a surprising negative image, as it went from +54 percent in August to -5 percent in September," the Examiner reported.