President Trump's criticism of NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem has consumed a massive amount of news media and social media bandwidth, but how do ordinary Americans feel about the controversy?
The results are in, at least according to one polling firm.
A national survey by Kansas City-based Remington Research Group of about 2,000 voters claims that America is on Trump's side, contrary to the dominant media narrative. Nearly two-thirds of respondents in the public opinion survey indicated that NFL players should stand while the national anthem is being played as part of pre-game ceremonies. Against the backdrop of a two-year decline in NFL television ratings, about half of the respondents revealed that they are less likely to watch their favorite NFL team moving forward because of the anthem protests.
Of the 51 percent of the respondents who said they are watching less football, about 70 percent noted that it was because players are using the games "as a stage for their political views." Some 80 percent want less politics during sporting events, and 60 percent suggest that players should use a more appropriate space to protest other than NFL games.
The same data showed a 46 percent/47 percent favorable-unfavorable opinion of President Trump.
Commenting on a results, a Remington Research executive explained that "Americans are very clear on this issue: they do not support political protests during the national anthem. On top of that, due to the protests, Americans are watching less football and that trend will continue as long as the protests do."
In a survey by J.D. Power over the summer of 9,200 sports fans about why they tuned out NFL games during the 2016 season, "26 percent of viewers cited the protests as the reason," which was the primary reason given for switching channels, CBS Sports reported.
Since the national anthem protest was essentially dying out prior to the president's inflammatory rhetoric in Alabama last Friday night, even many Trump supporters who disagree with on-field activism by NFL players have expressed the feeling that Trump should have left the subject alone.
That notwithstanding, Dilbert creator Scott Adams, who long predicted an election victory by "master persuader" Donald Trump, maintains that the president occupies the high ground in his dispute with NFL players and now owners, as he expounded upon during a Periscope broadcast today. That's because the strongest brand and the highest ground are a winning combination, and as Adams sees it, Trump has both, with the brand being America and the high ground being patriotism and honoring the U.S. flag. It also is consistent with Trump's America First platform, Addams added. The cartoonist also called the Dallas Cowboys' approach to taking a collective knee before the anthem and then standing during the Star-Spangled Banner last night as also a high-ground idea.