Six members of the New England Patriots say they will not visit the White House, an established tradition for Super Bowl winners, reportedly because of their opposition of President Trump. A few players said they would not feel welcome at the White House. Although professional athletes have skipped such meetings before, the sheer number of athletes opting not to meet Trump has drawn attention from many—and criticism from some.
A recent PRRI survey found that while most Americans don’t care when players mix sports and politics, some do.
A majority (58 percent) of the public say they are not bothered when professional athletes make public statements about political issues. However, a sizable minority (40 percent) report they are bothered when athletes stake out a public position on political topics.
Americans of different political stripes have sharply contrasting views. A majority (57 percent) of Republicans say they are bothered when athletes take a political stand, while only 27 percent of Democrats agree. Seven in ten (70 percent) Democrats say this does not bother them at all. Political independents largely reflect the broader public’s view on this issue.
Views also diverge somewhat by race. At least six in ten black (72 percent) and Hispanic Americans (63 percent) say they are not bothered when athletes make political statements. Whites are more divided. A majority (54 percent) say this would not bother them, while close to half (45 percent) do not like it when athletes take up political causes.
For more, read through our latest sports poll.