NJ poll — Should NFL players be forced to stand during anthem?
SOUTH ORANGE — Getting the most playing time this NFL season appears to be the debate over what to do, or what not to do, during the national anthem.
Given heated opinions on both sides of the issue, the latest Seton Hall Sports Poll decided to get a better read on Americans' overall stance.
The nation is essentially split down the middle.
Forty-seven percent of the 715 adults surveyed agree with league commissioner Roger Goodell's decision not to order players to stand during the anthem. Forty-two percent disagree, and the poll has a margin of error of 3.7 points. Eleven percent of respondents have no opinion.
"For as many people think that it's disrespectful to kneel during the anthem, just as many think that people have the right to protest, whether they're football players or college students or whomever," said Rick Gentile, director of the poll.
Two high school football referees in New Jersey will not be permitted to officiate any more games this season because they walked off the field Friday night after several teen players took a knee during the anthem at a Monroe-Colts Neck game.
When asked whether it was appropriate for President Donald Trump to involve himself in the debate and request that people sign a petition urging players to stand, Americans were more divided.
Fifty-five percent claim Trump's move was inappropriate; 37 percent side with the President.
"The majority of the country said no, he should basically mind his own business," Gentile said.
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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.