The NFL registered the highest unfavorable rating of any major U.S. sport for the third straight month in a newly released survey, a hit attributed in part to the ongoing protests during the national anthem.
The Winston Group Sports Survey released last week found the NFL was ranked “unfavorable” by 38 percent of respondents, the highest percentage of any major professional sport as well as college football and basketball.
Major League Baseball had the highest favorable rating at 63 percent and lowest unfavorable at 15 percent, while the NFL notched a 48 percent favorable rating.
“Major League Baseball continues to have the best sports brand by a significant margin,” said the survey. “The NFLhad been competitive, but since the kneeling controversy it fell significantly behind, and this survey continues to demonstrate that trend.”
The poll, conducted Nov. 29-30, offered some good news for the NFL: The 38 percent unfavorable figure represented a slight improvement from the 40 percent unfavorable rating registered in September and October.
In August, prior to the start of the season, the NFL’s unfavorable rating was just 23 percent, but spiked in the aftermath of criticism over the kneeling from President Trump, which prompted an increase in the number of players refusing to stand for the anthem.