Sports | October 26, 2017 10:17 am

Poll Shows Americans Split Over Pro Athletes Standing for Anthem

Forty-seven percent said athletes should be forced to stand, a HBO Real Sports poll finds.

Americans generally have shifted what they think about the national anthem protests, according to an HBO Real Sports/Marist College poll. The poll shows that 51 percent of the country believes professional sports leagues should not require their players to stand for the national anthem, reports USA TodayForty-seven percent believe they should.

These numbers are different than the results from the same poll in September 2016. Then, 52 percent said they should be forced to stand and 43 percent said they should not.

But this debate was thrust into the spotlight since President Donald Trump called players who refuse to stand “sons of b-tches” and has demanded the NFL force its players to stand. He has called for the league to fire any player who refuses to do so, writes USA Today. 

Since then, hundreds of players have started protesting, either following San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s lead and kneeling, or raising a fist, or just embracing other players who have decided to protest.

Last week, Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, said that players should stand, but would not be punished if they don’t.