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Americans See the NFL as One of the Most Divisive Corporate Brands

Many Trump supporters have changed their minds since his remarks about the league.

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Before President Donald Trump made any comments on NFL owners firing players who kneel during the national anthem, the United States seemed to pretty much agree on their views of the league. The New York Times writes that 60 percent said they viewed the NFL favorably, while about 20 percent said they viewed in unfavorably, according to surveys conducted by Morning Consult, a polling, media and technology company.

But now, many Trump supporters have changed their attitudes since Trump’s comments about the organization. Trump voters are much more likely to say they view the NFL negatively, reports The Times, while the views of Hillary Clinton voters have not changed.

The Times does write that some of these results might be because Americans are more likely to share or engage with articles that reinforce views they already have.

People on both sides of the party lines reported seeing more negative news about the NFL around the time of Trump’s comments and the protests that followed, The Times reports. But Trump supporters were more likely to report seeing negative news, while those respondents who voted for Clinton were more mixed in the coverage the reported seeing, according to The Times. 

One reason behind the differing responses may be that people will not click on articles they disagree with. Another possibility is that Republicans and Democrats are reading the same articles, tweets, and Facebook posts, but taking different attitudes away.

This shift is not limited to just the NFL. After Stephen Curry indicated he wouldn’t attend a White House visit, LeBron James tweeted his support for Curry.

After this, the number of Trump voters who said they held “very unfavorable views of James more than doubled,” reports The Times, going from 11 percent to 23 percent. But the opposite happened for Clinton voters, they said they liked James more after the tweet.

The Times writes that there are other reasons behind the NFL’s ratings being lower than years past. But will it last? Minds seem to change pretty quickly, The Times reports. After a video was released of a passenger being dragged off an overbooked United flight, many viewed the airline negatively and even said they would pay extra to fly a different airline. Six months later, people are back to viewing the airline as favorably as they did before the video.

Read full story at The New York Times