Ever since Colin Kaepernick literally took a seat during the national anthem of a preseason NFL football game in late August, there has been a large and ongoing debate over the role of social protest and sports.
There are those who believe on-the-field protests have no place in sports, while others have taken up for Kaepernick and the increasing protests seen throughout the sports world. According to a new poll from Quinnipiac University, a majority of fans believe on-field protests should not be happening.
Said poll indicates that 54 percent of its respondents disagree with the protests that are currently happening across the sports landscape.
However, unpacking the results also shows a big racial divide between the thoughts on the protests and the police between black and white respondents.
The poll surveyed 1,391 adults — 249 of which were black — and it showed that the attitudes about the protests were vastly different.
Despite a 4-1 approval among black adults, all American adults disapprove 54 – 38 percent of athletes refusing to stand during the National Anthem in protest of perceived police violence against the black community, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.
White adults disapprove of the protests 63 – 30 percent, as black adults approve 74 – 17 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.
That same poll showed that 70 percent of white respondents believed cops across the United States were doing their job, while 67 percent of black respondents believed the exact opposite.
Even with all of the differences in thoughts between the two groups, Quinnipiac’s poll did find one common ground — civil liberties and policing.
“There is a profound racial divide over athletes who refuse to stand for the national anthem and deep differences over whether the police can be trusted,” assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll Tim Malloy said in a release with the poll. “But no matter what race is surveyed, Americans believe police should not violate civilians’ civil liberties to prevent crime.”
Despite the continued unpopular thoughts on these protests, things have continued on. Other players across the NFL have joined in different forms of protest — from raising a fist to locked arms and silent prayer — during the national anthem.
It has spread to not only other professional sports, but also to collegiate and even high school sports in America.
Things may have jumped the shark after the ECU band decided to take a knee while playing the national anthem a few weeks ago. Fans roundly booed the band off the field following the national anthem and have continued to do so since then.
Whatever belief you have on the protests happening, it is pretty clear that America remains divided on some key sociological issues. Sports may have a role in figuring it all out, but will fans walk away from the games before anything gets solved?