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Poll: 71% of Americans want Trump to stay out of NFL anthem spat

President Trump speaks during a White House ceremony honoring the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Trump speaks during a White House ceremony honoring the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The latest Seton Hall Sports Poll is out, and there’s a significant change from just one month ago to the responses on a key question: Do you think President Trump should continue to comment on the NFL player protests, or stay out of it?

Just one month ago, 37% of respondents supported Trump continuing to comment. Now that figure is down to 23%.

Of the 719 respondents, 71% say Trump should “stay out of it.”

The survey of US adults was conducted from Monday to Wednesday of this week across the country, with a 3.7% margin of error. The Seton Hall Sports is run out of Seton Hall University, in partnership with The Sharkey Institute.

The 14-percentage-point drop in support for Trump’s NFL rhetoric is “a rather dramatic decline in just 30 days,” says Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall poll.

This month’s poll also asked if keeping players in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem might be a good solution next season to prevent the continued controversy. 63% said no, and 27% said yes.

President Trump first ignited his war of words on the NFL at a Sept. 22 rally in Alabama, where he went on a three-minute rant, excoriating NFL team owners and mocking the league’s declining TV ratings. Trump said: “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!'” He added: “NFL ratings are down massively… The number one reason happens to be that they like watching what’s happening with yours truly.”

For almost a month, from October 23 to November 20, Trump went silent on Twitter about the NFL. But now he has ramped up his criticism again.

Back in September, the poll asked if people support the NFL players’ right to protest, and 84% said yes. But 16% of respondents at the time agreed with President Trump that players who kneel should be dropped from their team.

Daniel Roberts is the sports business writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @readDanwrite.

Read more:

Trump is putting NFL owners in a corner

NFL has lost fans in the past 5 years, while NBA, NHL gained

NFL commissioner: ‘We’re trying to stay out of politics’

How NFL sponsors are responding to Trump’s national anthem crusade

Donald Trump’s war on the NFL dates back to 1986