National Survey: Political Stances by Players have Harmed NFL

Surveys | December 11, 2016

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KANSAS CITY, MO – Remington Research Group has conducted a national public opinion survey regarding the NFL. The survey was conducted December 11th through December 12th and 1,945 respondents participated.

According to the data, a vast majority of Americans, 64%, do not believe professional football players like Colin Kaepernick should use the NFL as a stage for their political views, with only 22% believing they should and 15% unsure.

Of the respondents who considered themselves “a fan of the NFL at any point in the past five years,” 63% say they have watched less football this year than previous years while 37% say they have watched more. Republicans and Non-Partisans have started watching less football at a higher rate than Democrats, as 61% of Republicans say they have watched less football this year compared to 55% of Democrats. Almost three quarters, 73%, of Non-Partisans reported they have watched less football this year compared to the past.

Players like Colin Kaepernick using the NFL as a stage for their political views was the leading cause of why those respondents have watched less football. Twenty-nine percent of NFL fans who have watched less football this year say it is because of players using the NFL as a political stage; 13% say there are too many games during the week; 6% say games last too long; 5% say new rules reduce physical contact; 3% say the pace of play is too slow; 27% say something else; and 18% were unsure why they have watched less football.

Seventy-seven percent of Republicans and 65% of Non-Partisans believe players should not use the NFL as a stage to express their political views. Meanwhile, 33% of Democrat respondents think players should use the NFL as a political stage while 49% believe they should not.
The increase in concussions to football players has not had much of an effect on viewership. Only 18% of respondents say the increase in concussions has led to them watching less football. Seventy-eight percent said concussions made no difference in how much football they watch and 4% say it has led to them watching more.

“It’s clear in the data that political issues are affecting the NFL’s viewership,” said Titus Bond, Director of Remington Research Group, “Especially amongst Republicans and Non-Partisans. It’s still a split issue amongst Democrats, but Republicans soundly reject the idea of football players using the NFL as a stage for their political views.”

Bond added, “Almost two-thirds of NFL fans are watching less football this year than they have in the past and Colin Kaepernick and other players using the NFL as a stage to express their political stances are the leading reason why.”