Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Support Playing the National Anthem at Sporting Events

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31: The National Anthem is performed by Haley Swindal as the US Navy Super Hornet flyover takes place before the New York Yankees face the Detroit Tigers on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on March 31, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City. …
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

According to a recent poll, Americans overwhelmingly support the national anthem being played before sporting events, and that support has increased in the last few years.

The Washington Post-University of Maryland poll found an overwhelming (84 percent) number of Americans said they support the anthem being played or sung before professional sporting events when asked. Only 16 percent said they opposed hearing the anthem.

In comparison, a previous poll from 2017 found 62 percent of respondents supporting professional sports teams playing the anthem before the sports game started. This shows that the support for the anthem actually increased by 22 percentage points over the past four years.

Those who said they support hearing the anthem, a net 84 percent said they would be upset if professional sports leagues in the United States stopped playing the anthem. Of those, 37 percent said they would be very upset, and 21 percent said “somewhat upset.”

Additionally, the survey asked how the respondents feel about when hearing the anthem. Overall a supermajority (71 percent) of respondents said they feel positive.

When the results were broken down by race, the Post showed a “stark racial divide among Americans about how they feel about the song.”

Respondents who identified as White showed 80 percent of them felt positive, and only six percent felt negative. Those numbers are similar to respondents who were also identified as Hispanic or Asian. Data for both groups revealed that 67 percent of them felt positive about the anthem and, respectively, eight percent and six percent felt negative.

The respondents who identified as Black said that just 35 percent said they had a positive feeling, with 42 percent saying they didn’t have an opinion, positive or negative. However, the group of respondents had shown the highest number of negative results with 22 percent.

Aaron Stinchcomb II, a former football player at Ole Miss and the grandson of one of the first Black Marines, told the Washington Post, he has dropped his knee for the national anthem before.

He continued to tell them, “I’m not an activist. But I support activism. … I’ve always been encouraged to stand up for what is right. Not politically right. But what is truly right.”

The Washington Post-University of Maryland poll was conducted online between March 12 to 18. The sample size was 1,500 adult Americans selected randomly. Overall, the margin of error was plus or minus three points.

Additionally, the margins of error were bigger for, among the subgroups, with four points for the sample of 875 White adults, 8.5 points among the sample of 217 Black adults, 7.5 among points among the sample of 277 Hispanic adults, and 12 points among the sample of 104 Asian adults.

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