Most Hated Players in the NFL

Every year a survey is conducted to find out who the most disliked players in the NFL are. In 2016, it’s a landslide “win” for Colin Kaepernick, which isn’t surprising, considering the amount of controversy and debate that resulted from his refusal to stand during the national anthem.

E-Poll marketing research conducted the poll, asking 1100 people about the players they like and dislike the most in the NFL, with the surveyed group representative of the general population in terms of demographics.

Most Disliked NFL Player: Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers


Kaepernick is the backup quarterback for the 49ers. He hasn’t played in a football game for almost a year. Yet he’s been the most talked about player for over a month, since he began kneeling or sitting down during the national anthem before the game, protesting the treatment of African Americans in the United States. More than 350 players were asked about in the survey, and Kaepernick “won” by a landslide in the disliked category, with 29% of the participants citing they disliked him a lot.

Two years ago, the last time this poll was taken, Kaepernick was coming off two excellent seasons with the 49ers, which included going to the Super Bowl and the NFC championship game. Only 6% of the people polled then said they disliked him a lot. The sentiment is even stronger among NFL fans, with 36% disliking him a lot, compared to just 10% of NFL fans saying they dislike him a lot two years ago.

But there’s an interesting and obvious split in the poll. Among African Americans, 42% said they like him a lot, while only 2% dislike him a lot. Two years ago, only 16% of African-Americans said they liked him a lot, with 3% disliking him a lot. Caucasians make the big difference (African Americans make up 15% of the population). Two years ago, only 7% said they dislike Kaepernick a lot. In 2016, 37% said they dislike him a lot.

Popular or not, hated or not, Kaepernick is a lot more famous now, especially among those who don’t follow the NFL. Only 24% of people said they knew his name two years ago. In the 2016 poll, 42% of those polled were familiar.

Rest of the top 5:

2. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 22%: Winston’s name is a bit surprising here considering he plays for the Buccaneers, but I’m guessing people haven’t forgiven himi for his off-field antics while playing for Florida State.

3. Ndamukong Suh, Miami Dolphins, 21%: Suh has a reputation for being one of the dirtiest players in the NFL, which makes his inclusion here quite unsurprising, although he has fallen a bit off the radar by playing for the unsuccessful Dolphins.

4. Tom Brady, New England Patriots, 13%: Four-time Super Bowl champion, alleged cheater, Tuck rule, married to a Super Model, doesn’t come off as the most relatable person in the world off the field. No surprise seeing him here.

5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers, 10%: Playing for the Steelers generates plenty of negative attention. His previous rape charges (Which were settled out of court) don’t make him any easier to like.