President Donald Trump’s supporters overwhelmingly oppose NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, a new poll from NBC and the Wall Street Journal has found. Many players have been kneeling to protest police violence against African-Americans, a protest Trump has strongly attacked.
NBC and the Wall Street Journal asked if the protest was appropriate or inappropriate. The poll found that a majority of voters, 54%, opposed kneeling during the anthem, with opposition strongest among Republican and Trump voters.
Among Republicans, 88% oppose the protest, which was pioneered by San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick. Opposition is slightly higher among Trump voters, at 89%. The President has personally criticized the protest along with many right-wing media figures.
Democrats were broadly supportive of the protest, with 72% saying it was appropriate. Independents, however, are more divided on the issue with 57% saying it is inappropriate and 42% believing supporting it.
There is also a significant racial divide on the issue. Seven out of ten black voters believe the protest is appropriate, while among white voters, just 38% approve. Hispanic voters were also divided – 57% against and 47% in favor.
Some NFL teams have tried to prevent players from kneeling during the anthem but it is likely the protests will continue, whatever the polls say.