New Poll: NFL Popularity Plummets

October 27, 2017 Updated: October 27, 2017

In recent times the NFL has been taking hits including stadium attendance but now in a new poll, the league’s favorable ratings have also dropped.

A new Fox News poll found that since 2013, those that had favorable views of the league dropped by 18 percent.

Now, only 46 percent of voters have a positive view of the NFL, while 41 percent view it negatively.

Just four years ago, the last time the same question was asked, 64 percent had a positive view of the league and 19 percent were critical, according to the poll.

“If the NFL were a political candidate, alarm bells would be going off in campaign headquarters,” Democratic Pollster Chris Anderson told Fox News. Anderson conducts the Fox News Poll with Republican Pollster Daron Shaw.

The poll was conducted by telephone with live interviewers between Oct. 22 and 24, 2017, using a random national sample of 1,005 registered voters.

The significant drop downward stems mainly from Republicans changing their views of the league. Republicans dropped -37 points, whites -23 points, men -23 points and independents -14 points.

The New Orleans Saints kneel before the playing of the national anthem before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Oct. 22, 2017, in Green Bay, Wis. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

However, the majority of Democrats and nonwhites continues to have a positive view of the NFL, while there is still a drop in favorability among these groups. Positive views among Democrats is down 6 points (66 percent in 2013 to 60 percent now) and nonwhites are down by 3 (64-61 percent).

The drop could be attributed to the national anthem protests where NFL players knelt during the anthem. Although NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made his stance clear in an October 10 letter to team executives that he thinks “everyone should stand for the National Anthem.”

The poll also asked if people thought kneeling during the national anthem is appropriate, it found that 44 percent did think that way, up from 41 percent who felt that way last month and 32 percent who said so in September last year. But still, the majority of voters think that it is inappropriate (52 percent).

Buffalo Bills players kneel during the national anthem prior to the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Oct. 1, 2017, in Atlanta, Ga. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Of the voters who have an unfavorable opinion of the NFL, an overwhelming number think kneeling is inappropriate (78 percent), while those who have a favorable view of the NFL think it’s appropriate (62 percent) to kneel.