The latest on the National Anthem controversy in the National Football League: Vice-President Pence attended the Indianapolis Colts game today to see Peyton Manning’s jersey retired. (Indiana is, of course, Pence’s home state, where he served as governor.) But Pence walked out when a handful of players refused to stand for the Anthem:
Vice President Mike Pence has left the 49ers-Colts game after about a dozen San Francisco players took a knee.
Pence said on Twitter : “I left today’s Colts game because @POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”
The White House also issued a statement from Pence, in which he says Americans should rally around the flag. Pence said: “I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem.”
Colin Kaepernick, meanwhile, says that if a team will sign him, he will stand for the Anthem.
And a new poll finds a shocking drop-off in the NFL’s image:
From the end of August to the end of September, the favorable ratings for the NFL have dropped from 57 percent to 44 percent, and it has the highest unfavorable rating – 40 percent – of any big sport, according to the Winston Group survey provided exclusively to Secrets.
The Winston Poll from the Washington-based Winston Group found that the attitude of [men aged 34 to 54] went from an August rating of 73 percent favorable and 19 percent unfavorable to 42 percent favorable and 47 percent unfavorable, a remarkable turn against the sport.
It remains to be seen how this will play out in game attendance and television ratings, but it seems obvious that the NFL has been hurt badly by its tacit endorsement of protests that most Americans see as wholly unjustified and anti-patriotic.