Poll: Majority says NFL players' protests are appropriate

A majority of Americans say that the protests by NFL players during the national anthem are appropriate, according to a USA Today/Suffolk University poll published on Monday.

The poll found that 51 percent of those surveyed said the players' protests were appropriate while 42 percent said they were inappropriate. 

The results differ from a CBS News/YouGov poll released on Sept. 29 that found 52 percent of Americans disapproved of the players kneeling, while 38 percent approved.

In the USA Today poll, over two-thirds (68 percent), said that Trump's call for NFL owners to fire players and for fans to boycott their games was inappropriate. Only 27 percent of responders agreed with Trump's response.

A third of Republicans support players' right to protest compared with nine out of 10 Democrats. Only 8 percent of respondents had no opinion about the protests. 

At a rally in Alabama in September Trump said that any "son of a bitch" who "disrespects our flag" should be fired.

After widespread backlash from players and team owners alike, hundreds of players took a knee to protest Trump's attack. Nearly every NFL team put out a statement supporting players' right to peacefully protest. 

The protests began after former quarterback Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee during the national anthem last year to protest police brutality and racial injustice. 

The CBS News/YouGov poll found that 48 percent of respondents disapproved of Trump’s comments about the protests and only 38 percent approved.

A HuffPost/YouGov poll released last week found similar results. Fifty-seven percent of participants in that poll disapproved of Trump’s response to the protests with 42 percent strongly disapproving.

The USA Today/Suffolk University poll of 1,000 registered voters was conducted by phone from Wednesday, Sept. 27 through Sunday Oct. 1 and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.