The majority of white Americans consider kneeling during the national anthem as an ‘unacceptable’ form of protest, but most Americans, in general, consider professional athletes taking a knee as acceptable, according to a poll conducted by CBS News.
The margin among white voters is razor-thin. The report said 52 percent of whites polled, regardless of political affiliation, have negative views towards the protest. But the poll showed that eight in 10 white Democrats approve of the protest while about the same number of white Republicans disagree with the move.
Kneeling during that national anthem is not a new phenomenon in sports. Former quarterback Colin Kaepernick is credited with introducing the protest that claims to shed light on police brutality towards blacks in the country. Since the death of George Floyd in May, the protest has become mainstream and is now widely practiced in sports outside of football. There have been reports of entire WNBA teams walk off the court in protest.
Critics of the movement now face social odium if they publicly side with standing for the national anthem. Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints quarterback, was forced to issue a mea culpa after an interview where he came out in favor of standing.
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The CBS poll said that nearly 90 percent of black Americans find the protest acceptable and 62 percent of Hispanics. The CBS report noted that age also plays a role in one’s opinion of the protest. Only 43 percent of Americans over 65 agree with the protest while 75 percent of those polled between the ages of 18 and 29 support the protest.
Stephon Tuitt, a six-year NFL defensive lineman, recently took to Twitter to announce that he will not be kneeling during the national anthem and “screw anybody” who has a problem with that.
“My grandmother was a immigrant from the Carribean” and she “worked her ass off to bring 20 people over the right way. She had no money and educated herself to be a nurse. She living good now,” he said.