SwimSwam Pulse: Voters Split On Ervin Kneeling During Anthem

SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.

Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers for their opinions on Anthony Ervin‘s decision to kneel during the national anthem at an international meet:


Question: Anthony Ervin kneeling during the national anthem is

  • Patriotic – 25.7%
  • Unpatriotic – 35.9%
  • Neither – 38.4%

35% of voters found Anthony Ervin‘s decision to kneel during the U.S. national anthem at the Raia Rapida meet “unpatriotic,” but 38% said it was neither patriotic nor unpatriotic.

Ervin knelt during the American national anthem at the meet a few weeks ago, following a growing trend in the NFL where professional football players kneel during the anthem to protest what they consider racially-oriented police brutality in the United States. The decision has created a hot-button issue in football that has now crossed over into swimming. Another wrinkle to Ervin’s decision to kneel is that the meet was an international one, taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Ervin is the son of a black father and white mother and was the first black American swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming.

He’s historically been very outspoken on social and political issues, and Ervin’s decision to kneel in Brazil set off a firestorm of comments on both sides. This poll brought in almost 900 responses in a week, much higher than our polls typically run, though not our most-voted poll. More voters considered Ervin’s statement as “unpatriotic” than “patriotic,” but a majority of people categorized it in neither of those two categories.


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters for their preseason women’s NCAA winner pick:

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The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner

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In my opinion protesting is the most American thing in the world and patriotic


I am protesting your comment on the corner of 59th and 10th street, come join me.


Now Sinkorswim is the true American. Responds with a threat a violence 😉

Justin Thompson

Athletes are learning that while you are free to express yourself that it comes with a cost. From a fans standpoint sports is an escape from the day to day grind.

Years of Plain Suck

Right after Ervin won the 50 free at the Rio Olympics (August, 2016), a reporter asked him about his new daughter (several months old then but whom he hadn’t yet met). Ervin said he had a message for her that he would he keep repeating to her as she grew up: “I wanted to tell her that the American dream is for anybody without exception,” Ervin said, “whether you’re a boy or a girl, the shade of your skin or the shape of your eyes, with no regard to who you love or the beliefs that give you peace.” A wonderful statement from 14 months ago. If Ervin wants to protest, that’s his right and more power to him (although… Read more »

Steve Nolan

no u have to buy the stuff that ervin endorses now. if “not patriotic” woulda won this poll you coulda just burned it all in a big pile outside his hosue but im sorry thems the rules.


It’s funny how conservatives drone on about how our nation has too many problems to worry about being “politically correct” but then when a black athlete wants to highlight a problem (systemic racism) by being un-PC (kneeling) they suddenly think it’s wrong. I wonder why that could be…

Just another example of Republican hypocrisy at its finest.

dude 2.0

comments on swimswam, oddly, restoring my sense of humanity. Wish these swim folks were running the government.


As an outsider; I wouldn’t throw this all on Republicans. America has long seemed to have a patriotism that transcends those political lines. But more than that, an idea that patriotism needs to be worn in a really brash, almost obnoxious way, for it to be genuine. As well as very narrow accepted displays of patriotism. I’m not privvy to the exact details of NFL audiences, but as a general rule, I wouldn’t have thought an overwhelming majority of those New England men booing their team not long ago would be classed as conservatives or Republicans. Britain is slowly heading the same way in regards to identity politics, the people I don’t like are always to blame attitude, but sometimes… Read more »

Steve Nolan

Massachusetts in particular has a reputation as being super liberal, but we have Republican governors here all the time. Hell, got one right now!

I haven’t done any sort of poll, but odds are those chuds booing at the Pats game weren’t Hillary voters.

But, hey, don’t get me wrong – Democrats are also bad. But one’s a like, “stubbing your toe” level bad, while the other is more “getting swarmed by a pride of starving lions while covered in antelope blood” bad.


Don’t forget one of the best ones yet, protest Starbucks by buying Starbucks

Sir Swimsalot

Don’t forget liberals being offended by the color of a park ranger’s suit or college students being triggered by America being referred to as a “land of oppurtunity.” People say and do dumb things, regardless of party. Taking the actions of a few and blanketing them on a whole group is nonsense y’all. Seriously?

PALM swimmer

That book being the way to salvation, yes, that would be wrong. Boo.
#Whatahippy #figureitout #Iranouttahashtags

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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