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Colin Kaepernick Voted NFL's Most Disliked Player in Recent Poll

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2016

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 18: Eric Reid #35 and Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers kneel on the sideline, during the anthem, prior to the game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers defeated the 49ers 46-27. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

A recent poll of 1,100 Americans from E-Poll Market Research revealed San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is the most disliked player in the NFL, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com.

Twenty-nine percent of those polled responded "disliked a lot" to Kaepernick, with the 49ers signal-caller beating out Jameis Winston (22 percent), Ndamukong Suh (21 percent), Tom Brady (13 percent) and Ben Roethlisberger (10 percent).

That's a stark change from two years ago, the last time the poll was taken, when just 6 percent of those polled chose "disliked a lot" for Kaepernick.

At that point, Kaepernick looked like a rising star after leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013 and the NFC Championship Game in 2014. This year, he's Blaine Gabbert's backup.

But Kaepernick's performance on the field likely isn't the only reason for his change in popularity. The quarterback also made national headlines by sitting during the national anthem before an Aug. 26 preseason game to protest injustice against African-Americans and other minorities.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," he said after the game, per Steve Wyche of NFL Media. "To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

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The issue has become a divisive one. Many NFL players have joined Kaepernick's protest in a variety of ways, and supporters have applauded him for exercising his freedom of speech and using his platform as a famous athlete to make a statement about an important issue.

Others have said his actions are unpatriotic and disrespectful to the military and the country's police officers.

The divide extends along racial lines as well. The E-Poll Market Research poll revealed 37 percent of Caucasians said they disliked Kaepernick "a lot," while only 2 percent of African-Americans selected that option.

On the other hand, 42 percent of African-Americans said they liked him "a lot."

             

You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

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