According to a new poll, Americans view professional athletes kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial discrimination as an acceptable form of protest, CBS News reported.
The trend was made widely popular when National Football League (NFL) superstar Collin Kaepernick got involved several years ago in the practice. Kaepernick failed to stand during a national anthem in 2016, during a game against the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Tribune reported.
However, Kaepernick isn’t the first to protest the national anthem. More than 20 years ago, former NBA star Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf protest the national anthem leading the way for Kaepernick.
As per the poll CBS conducted, a majority of Black and Hispanic Americans think it’s satisfactory for athletes to kneel during the national anthem as a form of a demonstration against racial discrimination. While, the survey found that White people are divided, with just over half (52%) declaring it is unacceptable to kneel during the anthem.
But that poll also proves to be political as eight in ten White Democrats found kneeling during the anthem an acceptable form of protest. While a similar percentage of White Republicans found the practice to be unacceptable for professional athletes to “take a knee” during the national anthem. According to the statistics, independent voters fell into a similar category with Democrats as the majority view it as an acceptable form of protest.
Age also plays a factor in whether or not Americans support athletes taking a knee during the anthem. Younger people between the ages 18 to 29 – are the age group that favors kneeling during the national anthem. While more than half of older people 65 years and older view this form of protest as unacceptable.
Protests have raged across America since the killing of George Floyd by police officers, all officers were charged in that incident. However, further provocations have happened since with multiple other cases of police brutality against minorities. This has left America divided as some stand with the police and others with the protesters.
It has been nearly four years after Kaepernick began protesting racial injustice and police brutality in America by sitting and then kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games, and Kaepernick still remains out of a job. Kaepernick defended the protests after George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police. “When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction,” Kaepernick said. “The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance. We have the right to fight back! Rest in power George Floyd.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement via Zoom stating: “We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier, and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”
CBS expressed there was a room of margin for error during the survey conducted among a nationally representative sample of 2,008 U.S. adult residents. The margin of error for U.S. adults is 2.5 pts.