Poll: Majority of Americans say Trump was wrong to criticize NFL protests
© Getty Images

A majority of Americans said President Trump was wrong to criticize NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice, according to a new CNN/SSRS poll.

Six in 10 of Americans who took part in the poll said the president was wrong to criticize NFL players to kneel during the anthem, saying the players should be fired. 

Trump's comments also appear to have struck a resounding tone among African-Americans, with 97 percent who were polled saying the president was wrong in his remarks. 

In comparison, 51 percent of white respondents said the president's remarks were wrong. 


There was also a sharp racial divide on attitudes toward the NFL protesters, with 82 percent of African-Americans saying the demonstrations were the right thing to do, compared to 59 percent of whites calling the players actions wrong. 

The poll comes as the president continues to take part in a war of words with the league. 

Trump ripped NFL players during a rally last week for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.), ahead of a primary runoff, in which he said: "Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’ ”

The comments were quickly condemned by the NFL community, with the league's commissioner, Roger Goodell, branding the president's rhetoric as "divisive."

Teams across the country publicly pushed back on Trump's comments during games on Sunday and Monday, in which they linked arms and kneeled before kickoff and during the national anthem. 

Trump on Thursday pushed back on claims that he was preoccupied with the NFL, saying "I don't think you can disrespect our country, our flag, our national anthem. To me, the NFL situation is a very important situation. I've heard that before about 'was I preoccupied,' not at all, not at all."

The CNN-SSRS was conducted from Sept. 26 to 28 among 1,037 adults. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.