President Trump is apparently on to something with his demand that NFL owners and coaches fire players who take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem.
According to Rasmussen Reports, a third of the nation said that it would be less inclined to watch games because of the protests.
Notably 34 percent who picked professional football as their top sport also said they don't want to watch, as did 44 percent of Republicans.
And that was before Trump's call during an Alabama political rally when he said, "Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out. He's fired. He's fired!"
Overall, Rasmussen found that 34 percent would be "less likely" to watch. Some 50 percent said the protests won't have an impact on their NFL viewing and 12 percent said they'd more more likely to watch.
The issue has roiled the nation for nearly a year, after one-time San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee.
The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017
The top groups most offended by the action, said Rasmussen, are:
- Middle-age viewers, 40-64, at 37 percent.
- Republicans at 44 percent.
- Married viewers, 38 percent.
- Families with children at home, 36 percent.
- Wealthy Americans making over $200,000, 40 percent.
- Football fans, 34 percent.
As a football fan, I am proud of the NFL players today. Nothing is more American than the right to peacefully protest.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) September 24, 2017
So, bottom line, does it matter to the National Football League. Consider this Rasmussen nugget:
Sixty-three percent (63%) of Americans say they follow professional football on television, in person, on the radio or through other media at least occasionally in a typical week, with 39% who do so once or more per week.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com