A majority of Americans say professional athletes should use their platforms to speak out about national issues, according to a new poll.
A Washington Post poll released Thursday also indicates that most Americans say athletes kneeling in protest during the national anthem is an appropriate way to bring attention to racial inequality.
Poll results show:
- 62% of Americans say professional athletes should use their platforms to address national issues.
- 38% of Americans say professional athletes should not express their viewpoints on current topics.
- 56% of Americans say kneeling during the national anthem is an acceptable way for athletes to protest racial injustice.
- 42% of Americans say athletes should not kneel and that it is inappropriate.
The survey results were released just ahead of the start of the NFL season. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first player to send a message by taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality in 2016.
All summer, professional athletes have taken a knee or even protested playing in the wake of social unrest that began with the police-involved death of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.
The poll surveyed 1,001 adults between Sept. 1-6. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
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