The first poll of NFL fans following this weekend's moves by dozens of players to take a protest knee during the playing of the National Anthem finds that most want the pros to stand and they are also turning off the games as a result of politics.
The survey from Remington Research Group found that 64 percent want players to stand for the national anthem.
Of the 51 percent who have watched less football this season, 69 percent cite player protests as the reason.
And 60 percent believe that players should find another place to protest the flag, President Trump, race, and other issues.
"Americans are very clear on this issue: they do not support political protests during the national anthem," said Titus Bond, director of Remington Research Group. "On top of that, due to the protests, Americans are watching less football and that trend will continue as long as the protests do."
The group also did a poll of western New York fans of the first place Buffalo Bills and found they agree with Trump and want their team to just play ball and not politics.
According to a new poll taken after the Bills beat the Denver Broncos 26-16:
- 71% are against player protests during the National Anthem.
- Nearly half are watching less football mainly because of political protests.
- More voters agree with Trump's ‘You're Fired' statements than disagree.
- 82% want less politics during sporting events.
- 55% tailback LeSean McCoy punished for stretching Sunday's playing of the national anthem.
The survey from Big Dog Strategies, in partnership with the Remington Research Group, said western New York voters are also less likely to tune into future Buffalo Bills games by nearly a 2-1 margin over the political fallout.
"Trump is playing the media for fools. The Acela Corridor crowd doesn't know a touchdown from a touchback and they think Trump's being dumb running down the NFL protests. The jokes on them. They only seem more and more out of touch by the day," said a GOP operative who steered the poll to Secrets.
The findings in the typical blue-collar football town are bad for the NFL.
"Voters are clear on one thing — they do not support protests during the national anthem and they believe there is a more appropriate place for players to protest, " said Christopher Grant, of Big Dog Strategies.
"The NFL and the Buffalo Bills have a serious problem. Because of these protests, voters are watching less football than previous years, and they are less likely to watch Buffalo Bills games. In a region where professional football is king, the crown is clearly under siege," Grant added.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org