Republicans less likely to support NFL after kneeling controversy, UNF poll shows  

Ronnie Rodgers

Some players from the Washington Redskins kneel during the national anthem. Photo courtesy Creative Commons

Following the recent controversy surrounding NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, UNF’s Public Opinion Research Laboratory conducted a poll to see how local people felt about the issue.

The controversy hit close to home when the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens kneeled and locked arms to show solidarity against police violence in the black community on Sept. 24. Citizens demonstrated outrage by publicly burning Jaguars jerseys and other memorabilia and demanding refunds for their season tickets.

“For all of the attention that the pregame protests have gotten, on average most football fans are unaffected,” Dr. Michael Binder, UNF Public Opinion Research Laboratory faculty director said.

Around 70 percent of registered voters in Jacksonville said they watched at least an hour of worth of NFL games a week according to the poll. It also stated that 63 percent of Republicans were less likely to watch games following the protest and 57 percent said they are less likely to go to a NFL game.

Democrats polled were more likely to support the NFL following the protest. 14 percent said they were less likely to watch while only 11 percent said they were less likely to go to games. Democrats seemed to support the protest more, with 18 percent saying they were now more likely to attend or watch a football games.

“The really interesting aspect is how politically polarized the issue has become—Democrats, on balance, are more likely to watch or go to games, but Republicans are much less likely to watch and go to games,” Binder said.

The Jacksonville Jaguars staff had a high approval rate from poll participants. Jags owner Shad Khan had a 65 percent approval rate, while head coach Doug Marrone received 58 percent approval.

512 participants completed the poll between Oct. 2-4 and the margin of sampling error is 4.3 percentage.   



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