There’s a set of poll results making the rounds in sports media that has been given some form of the following headline: “Colin Kaepernick is now the most disliked player in the NFL.” But that’s not really the case.
The headlines are technically true, but if you were to pry apart the data even a little bit, you’ll see what the actual truth is here: white people don’t like Colin Kaepernick.
Darren Rovell, ESPN’s business reporter/chronicler of ballpark food, wrote up the survey conducted by E-Poll Marketing Research. The results:
The poll, taken last week, revealed that Kaepernick was “disliked a lot” by 29 percent of those polled, more than any of the more than 350 players asked about in the survey. Kaepernick finished ahead, in the dislike category, of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (22 percent), Miami Dolphins defensive end Ndamukong Suh (21 percent), New England Patriotsquarterback Tom Brady (13 percent) and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (10 percent).
According to Rovell, only 2% of African-Americans checked the “dislike a lot” box on Kaepernick. White people, though? Thirty-seven percent declared they dislike him “a lot.” That’s up from 7% two years ago. Hmm, I wonder what changed?
Since Kaepernick had the gall to protest police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem, more than a dozen NFL players have joined him, as have entire high school football and WNBA teams. Even a state senator sat during the Pledge of Allegiance, citing Kaepernick’s influence.
All this hate isn’t hurting Kaepernick’s jersey sales: after his initial protest, his #7 shot up to the best-selling in the league.