Poll: Majority disagrees with Trump on firing athletes who kneel during anthem
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A majority of Americans believe that NFL players should not be fired for kneeling during the national anthem at football games, disagreeing with President Trump on the issue this week, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Tuesday. 

The survey found that while 57 percent of respondents do not think the NFL should fire players who protest by kneeling during the anthem, 58 percent said that professional athletes in general "should be required to stand during the national anthem at sporting events." 

The findings come after Trump brought national attention to the protests at a political rally last week, condemning the nonviolent protest first used by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

"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. He is fired,' " Trump said.

The protests greatly expanded after Trump's remarks, with more than 200 players kneeling at NFL games over the weekend.


Trump later doubled down on his stance, saying Tuesday that the NFL should put new rules in place banning players from kneeling. 

A majority in the new poll indicated Trump's involvement in the issue was inappropriate, with 53 percent responding that he should not comment on "how the NFL and its players conduct themselves during the national anthem." 

Despite the president's multiple comments, he has denied claims that he is preoccupied with the issue amid pressing federal efforts on hurricane disaster relief. 

Of the adults surveyed, 40 percent said they support the decision by the football players to kneel during the anthem at games, an increase from the 28 percent who said they did in a poll last year, Reuters found. 

By party affiliation, the poll found that a large majority, 82 percent, of Democrats polled disagreed with Trump's statements on firing NFL players, while only 29 percent of Republicans disagreed. 

The U.S. online poll surveyed 1,622 adults during the period of Sept. 25-26, and had a 5 percentage point margin of error. Of those interviewed, 682 were Democrats and 583 were Republicans.

Sixty-one percent said they are NFL fans who watch several games each football season.