Poll: NFL fans overwhelmingly support league's national anthem policy

By a significant margin, NFL fans are in favor of the league’s new policy regarding the national anthem, according to a Yahoo Sports/YouGov poll.

When asked if they support or oppose the new policy, which states teams will be fined if players “do not stand and show respect for the flag and the [national] anthem,” 53 percent of self-described NFL viewers said they support the policy, with 32 percent opposing and 15 percent saying neither or no opinion.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, middle, kneels during the national anthem before the team’s NFL preseason football game against the San Diego Chargers, in San Diego in 2016. (AP)

What does this tell us?

That NFL owners enacted the policy to appease their audience. From a business standpoint, this of course makes perfect sense and belies the idea that it was done to placate President Donald Trump.

While Trump may approve of the policy, opinion on the anthem issue hasn’t varied too much since 2016, when Colin Kaepernick first knelt and Barack Obama was still president.

According to the Yahoo Sports/YouGov poll, NFL fans are more supportive of the new policy than the general public, which came in 48 percent for vs. 32 percent against.

Racial breakdown

Not surprisingly, white Americans support the policy, while black Americans do not. Here’s a breakdown of support/opposition as it relates to ethnicity:

White: 52% support; 32% oppose
Black: 29% support; 48% oppose
Hispanic: 49% support; 19% oppose

(NOTE: This is based on all respondents)

What are the details of the poll?

Number of adults surveyed: 1,184
Number of NFL viewers surveyed: 517
Questions asked:

1. As you may be aware, the NFL has announced that it will fine teams if their players “do not stand and show respect for the flag and the [national] anthem.”  Players can choose to stay in the locker room during the anthem, without being fined.

To what extent do you support or oppose this policy?

2. Do you think that the NFL should or should not have a rule regarding players’ conduct during the playing of the national anthem?

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