On Monday night, Alabama faced off against Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship game, but there was a special guest in the house: the president of the United States.
Right before the national anthem began playing, President Donald Trump walked onto the field with ROTC color guard members before the start of the game.
The crowd immediately reacted, and there were even reports on Twitter of “USA” chants breaking out throughout the stadium.
Then, as the Zac Brown Band sang the national anthem, Trump stood next to the service members with his hand over his heart and sang along.
The President takes the field at the #CFBPlayoff
NOW: President Trump takes the field before the national football championship in Atlanta, Georgia.
Trump takes the field ….
WATCH: President Donald Trump walks onto the field before the National Anthem to some cheers, some boos and a lot of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” chants #UGA2ATL
#potus just walked onto field #GeorgiaVSAlabama for the #NationalAnthem
Pres. Trump takes the field for the National Anthem ahead of tonight’s college football championship game.
Throughout this 2017 NFL season, television ratings have declined and fans, TV pundits, and reporters have speculated as to the biggest cause. On social media, many people railed that players protesting during the national anthem led outraged Americans to boycott.
A new survey from SurveyMonkey and Ozy Media, shared first with Yahoo Finance, finds that 33% of NFL fans boycotted the league this year—but not entirely because they were outraged by the player protests. Nearly equal proportions boycotted in support of Colin Kaepernick or the protests as boycotted in support of President Trump, who vocally opposed the protests.
The survey, conducted from Dec. 8—11 of 2017, polled a national sample of 1,726 adults ages 18 and up. It found that 1,233 of those people identifed as football fans.
The survey then asked the football fans: “Did you purposely stop watching or attending NFL games this season for any reason?” 33% of respondents said yes.
That group, which the survey labeled as “boycotting,” was asked why, and was given multiple options. Note: Respondents were allowed to select multiple answers; they were not asked which was the biggest factor, just which factors contributed.
They answered as follows: 32% said they stopped watching or attending NFL games “in support of Donald Trump”; 22% said “in solidarity with players kneeling”; 13% said “no interest in the teams playing”; 12% said “in support of Colin Kaepernick”; and 11% said “news about traumatic brain injuries among players.” Another 8% said “games are boring.” 46% chose “some other reason.”
— ABC News (@ABC) January 9, 2018
The results also show an interesting difference between male and female respondents: more men said they turned away from the NFL in support of Trump (35% to 25%), while more women said they did it in support of the players kneeling (30% to 17%) or in support of Kaepernick (17% to 10%).