Sports | September 29, 2017 11:34 am

Americans Are Divided Over the NFL Protests, ESPN Survey Shows

Where do you fall?

National Anthem protest in the NFL
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle and former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva (78) stands outside the tunnel alone during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

After President Trump slammed NFL players for protesting police brutality against African Americans during the national anthem, Americans are paying very close attention to how the story is unfolding — and are split in the way they feel about it, according to a nationwide survey by Global Strategy Group for ESPN.

The 1,055 respondents included both sports and non-sports fans, and were asked about their attitudes toward the protests. Among self-identified avid NFL fans, 48 percent strongly or somewhat approved of the protests, while 47 percent strongly or somewhat disapproved.

Strikingly, 31 percent of those avid fans said they were less interested in watching or following NFL games following the protests; of all the avid fans, 63 percent could agree on one thing: If Colin Kaepernick hadn’t protested, he’d still be on the field.