Poll: Majority say NFL players have right to take knee
© Getty Images

A majority in a new poll say that NFL players have the right to protest by kneeling during the national anthem.

Sixty-seven percent said NFL players have the right to participate in that form of protest, according to the Quinnipiac University poll. Thirty percent said they did not. 

This is about the same response rate as when the question was asked in November 2017.

There is less support in the poll for the protests themselves. 

Forty-seven percent said they disapproved of the protests and 47 percent said they approved of the protests. 


"Take a knee. It's your right, American voters tell NFL players,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll, said in a release. “But many voters who agree with the right to protest, disagree with the actual protests.”

Players began kneeling during the anthem in 2016 to protest racial inequality and police brutality, but critics have said that it is disrespectful to the flag and veterans.

There is more support among blacks and Hispanics for the protests. Seventy-seven percent of black voters polled, and 48 percent of Hispanic voters, say they support the protests. Ninety percent of blacks and 71 percent of Hispanics say they support the players' right to take a knee.

The poll — which was conducted among 1,038 voters between Sept. 6 and Sept. 9 and has a margin of error off Lus or minus 3.7 percentage points — comes amid renewed controversy over the protests.

Though few NFL players took a knee during the first week of the regular season, the debate has dominated the news cycle due to Nike’s decision to make former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick the face their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” ad campaign.

Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents to the Quinnipiac poll said they approve of Nike’s decision to feature Kaepernick, the free agent quarterback who popularized taking a knee.

The ad campaign has sparked significant backlash from conservatives, including President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Trump confirms 2018 US cyberattack on Russian troll farm Trump tweets his support for Goya Foods amid boycott MORE. Many have boycotted the brand by destroying their Nike gear and posting photos on social media.