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Poll: 84 Percent Support NFL Players’ Right To Protest

Poll: 84 Percent Support NFL Players’ Right To Protest Promo Image

According to a new poll, 84 percent of Americans believe NFL players have a right to protest.

However, not all of these respondents believe players should kneel during the national anthem, Yahoo Finance reports.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll released on Sept. 28 found that of the 84 percent of respondents who supported a player's right to protest, 49 percent said the players should seek other ways to express their opinions. Meanwhile, 35 percent said standing during the anthem was an acceptable way to protest.

Only 16 percent of respondents said players should be ordered to stand during the anthem and dropped from their team if they refuse.

The poll revealed a racial divergence, with 70 percent of blacks saying kneeling during the anthem is an acceptable form of protest, compared to 28 percent of whites.

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Although Colin Kaepernick initiated the protests during the anthem during in 2016 football season, the latest controversy erupted after President Donald Trump gave his opinion on the matter at a rally in Alabama on Sept. 23, Yahoo Finance reports.

Trump said: "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b**** off the field right now. Out! He's fired. He's fired!'"

Trump advised fans to leave the stadium if such protests occurred.

"If you see it, even if it's one player, leave the stadium," he added. "I guarantee things will stop."

The Seton Hall Sports Poll asked respondents their opinion regarding Trump's comments.

The poll asked: "President Trump has called on NFL owners to fire any player who refuses to stand for the national anthem. Commissioner Roger Goodell and several NFL owners have responded that the president's comments were divisive. Whom do you most agree with?"

Half of respondents said they back Goodell and the NFL owners, while 28 percent support Trump. The rest either responded both, neither or don't know/no opinion.

It's unclear whether the protests will continue to be as widespread as they were at games on Sept. 24 and 25, when more than 200 players either knelt or locked arms during the national anthem, USA Today notes.

While Kaepernick's initial intention in 2016 was to draw attention to police violence, several players said the latest protests were in response to Trump's comments.

"I kind of don't want President Trump to kind of hijack the narrative of what the protest started with and what it's ultimately about," Indianapolis Colts Safety Darius Butler said.

Denver Broncos Linebacker Brandon Marshall agreed.

"We can't get lost in what Trump's said," Marshall added on Sept. 27. "We have to try to change the narrative back to what the original message was about."

Sources: Yahoo Finance, Seton Hall Sports PollUSA Today / Featured Image: Keith Allison/Flickr / Embedded Images: Daniel Barker/Official US Navy Page/Flickr, Beto Barata via Michael Temer/Flickr

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