CBS News has released the results of a poll asking Americans what they think of both NFL players’ protests during the national anthem and President Trump’s response to them. Basically, the majority of the people polled wish that everyone would just stick to whatever it is they’re supposed to be doing.
Respondents also said, by a 41 to 33 margin, that Trump is trying to distract the country from other issues his administration is facing with his denunciations of the protests.
And in the least stunning news ever in these deeply fractured times, the poll results break down heavily along political and racial lines.
— 50 percent of white respondents either strongly or somewhat approve of Trump’s recent comments about protesting NFL players. Conversely, 79 percent of black respondents either strongly or somewhat disapprove.
— 72 percent of Republican respondents either strongly or somewhat approve of Trump’s comments. Among Democrats, 77 percent either strongly or somewhat disapprove of Trump’s comments.
— Only 28 percent of white respondents strongly or somewhat approve of NFL players protesting police brutality and racial inequality during the playing of the national anthem. That number rises to 74 percent among black respondents.
— Only 11 percent of Republican respondents strongly or somewhat approve of the protests. Conversely, 67 percent of Democrats strongly or somewhat approve of the protests.
Given this schism, the Dallas Cowboys’ split-the-difference pregame actions Monday night — they knelt as a team before the anthem but stood up as it was performed — seems to be the path teams are going to follow as they attempt to court both sides of their fan bases. On Thursday morning, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said his team will do exactly the same thing for Sunday morning’s game against the Miami Dolphins in London.
The poll of 1,335 people who roughly reflected the racial and political makeup of the country as a whole was conducted for CBS by YouGov Sept. 26-28 and has an approximately 3.8 percent margin of error.