Weeks of player protests during the national anthem continue to take their toll on the NFL, with the National Football League now considered one of the most divisive brands in the country, according to a new poll published by the left-leaning New York Times.
The survey finds that three weeks ago, before President Trump brought the issue of player protests to the national forefront when he called for a boycott, both Democrats and Republicans held a 60% favorable view of the league, with 20% saying they viewed the organization unfavorably.
In the wake of the President’s comments and the national uproar over athletes “taking a knee” during the ‘Star-Spangled Banner,’ those numbers have shifted dramatically. With upwards of 75% of Trump supporters saying they hold a negative view of the beleaguered association.
Even more worrisome for owners and NFL officials, the image of the league has rocketed to the top of brands that average Americans find “divisive,” beating restaurant chain Chick-fil-A and liberal website Huffington Post.
The President stepped into the national conversation again this week when he praised Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who barred any of his players from protesting during the national anthem, adding everyone should “respect” the flag.