America didn't like NFL players protesting police violence. Then Trump started tweeting about it.

After Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest police violence against black Americans, between 61 and 72 percent of Americans disapproved, depending on how the question was posed. That was 2016. Now the number's down to 48 percent, with President Trump's stupid, nasty twittering on the matter earning a dimmer view (57 disapproval) from poll respondents.

Best of all, only 12 percent are fooled by attempts to claim they're protesting the flag itself. American media like to portray Americans as politically ignorant to the bone, but as a Brit I'm often struck by American civic literacy, and that's number's a fair reflection of it.

Players began kneeling during the anthem to protest police brutality against black Americans. Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, suggested Monday that their message had become muddled, saying that if “the debate is really for them about police brutality,” athletes should protest police officers “instead of the American flag.”

Just 12 percent of Americans, however, think that the players’ decision to kneel means that they’re protesting against the American flag. Instead, asked to select which issues they thought the protesters were mostly taking a stand against, 48 percent of respondents chose police violence, with 40 percent saying the players were protesting Trump.

Cartoon: Matt Davies

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