Colin Kaepernick is the most disliked player in the NFL, according the results of a poll by E-Poll Marketing Research.
The poll, taken last week, revealed that Kaepernick was “disliked a lot” by 29 percent of those polled, more than any of the more than 350 players asked about in the survey. Kaepernick finished ahead, in the dislike category, of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (22 percent), Miami Dolphins defensive end Ndamukong Suh (21 percent), New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (13 percent) and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (10 percent).
Only six percent of those polled in 2014 disliked Kaepernick. Obviously, his public profile has expanded and greatly changed since then.
It’s not a shock to see Kaepernick’s name atop this list. His national anthem protest has its share of detractors. A part of me wonders, though, if there’s some recency bias at play here. Kaepernick’s name has been in the headlines more than any other athlete over the last month, so it’s easy for respondents to recall their negative feelings.
It’s also not surprising to see the percentage of African-Americans who like him “a lot” skyrocket from 16 percent to 42 percent.
It’s worth remembering that Kaepernick has the best-selling jersey in the NFL, suggesting the middle ground of public sentiment is diminishing as fans become entrenched on a side.