WASHINGTON—A majority of Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump’s response to NFL players protesting police violence by kneeling during the national anthem, according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll released Friday.
Fifty-four percent said that they disapprove of the President’s response, including 42 percent who replied that they strongly disapprove.
Thirty-six percent said that they approve, including 22 percent who said they did so strongly.
Last Friday, Trump told attendees at a rally for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) in Huntsville, Alabama that NFL owners should fire players who take a knee during the anthem.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,’” Trump said.
The President followed up on his comments with over two dozen tweets linking professional sports to politics and patriotism.
On Tuesday, Trump told reporters during a joint press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy that he believed the issue was “very important.”
“I was ashamed of what was taking place, because to me that was a very important moment,” Trump said. “I don’t think you can disrespect our country, our flag, our national anthem.”
While most Americans disapprove of the President’s response, 48 percent said that kneeling during the anthem was “inappropriate” compared to 36 percent who said it was “appropriate.”
The poll was conducted among 1,000 respondents between September 25 and 26. There is a plus or minus 4.1 percentage points margin of error.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll, released Sept. 26 also found that 58 percent of Americans believe that players should be required by the NFL to stand for the anthem, to 33 percent opposing. That same poll shows that 43 percent of Americans oppose how the NFL is handling the issue.
That poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points for Democrats, plus or minus 4.6 percentage points for Republicans and plus or minus percentage points for 7.5 Independents.