POLL: After protests, Colin Kaepernick now 'most disliked' player in NFL

There's no question about it. Colin Kaepernick's decision to protest the national anthem by sitting, and then later by kneeling, is a divisive subject.

Americans do not see eye-to-eye on the issue for a variety of reasons, and Kaepernick's actions have resulted in him becoming, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell, the "most disliked" player in the NFL in a recent poll.

The poll, conducted by E-Poll Marketing Research, asked questions of 1,100 people "whose demographics were representative of the general population."

And E-Poll found that the 49ers backup quarterback was the "disliked a lot" by a substantial number of people in the poll.

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).

Worth noting: being in the same category as Brady and Roethlisberger is not all bad. Brady was recently revealed to be someone the world has lost a lot of respect for, in large part because of Deflategate. America loves to hate its villains.

In August of 2014, according to Rovell, Kaepernick was only disliked by six percent of the people queried in the same poll.

The number of people who dislike Kap jumps even higher, however, when just NFL fans are asked about him.

The overall negative sentiment for Kaepernick is even higher among NFL fans. Today, 36 percent say they dislike him "a lot," up from just 10 percent when last asked two years ago.

The Kap thing is different than just football, of course. There's a clear divide in this country right now between people who respect his right to protest and people who believe he should stand for the national anthem. It's fine to draw your own conclusions about each of the demographics.

If you don't want to, E-Poll can do the math for you:

The poll shows 42 percent of African-Americans now say they like the 49ers quarterback "a lot," while only 2 percent dislike him "a lot." Two years ago, only 16 percent of African-Americans said they liked Kaepernick "a lot," while 3 percent disliked him "a lot."

Kaepernick is less popular/more disliked than ever by Caucasians.

Two years ago, only 7 percent of Caucasians said they disliked Kaepernick "a lot." Last week, that number had jumped to 37 percent.

The backup quarterback's ability to insert himself into the national conversation is also clear. Just two years ago, just 24 percent of the people polled had even heard of him. That number was up to 42 percent in the latest poll.

Given recent events, it should only continue to climb.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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