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Protesters in New York carrying a Colin Kaepernick sign. Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

For the first time, a majority of Americans support NFL players kneeling in protest of racial inequality, according to the results of a Yahoo News/YouGov poll released Thursday.

Why it matters: Public sentiment had been rooted firmly in opposition to kneeling during the national anthem since Colin Kaepernick first took a knee in 2016. But in the wake of nationwide protests supporting Black Lives Matter, the tide has shifted in the other direction.

The backdrop: In 2016, only 28% of Americans considered Kaepernick's actions "appropriate." In 2018 — when President Trump attacked players on Twitter for kneeling — that number rose to 35%.

By the numbers: The poll, which ran June 9–10, asked if it's "OK for NFL players to kneel during the national anthem to protest police killings of African Americans?” Just 36% of respondents disapproved.

  • Male (52%) and female (52%) respondents deemed this form of protest appropriate, with the younger respondents (18–29) leading the charge at 68%.
  • 77% of self-described Democrats agreed, in contrast to 20% of Republicans and 20% of Trump voters.
  • 77% of black people, 57% of Hispanics and 47% of white people answered in the affirmative.

Methodology, per Yahoo: "The poll of 1,570 Americans was conducted June 9 and 10 and covered a range of topics, including police brutality, racial injustice and presidential evaluation."

Go deeper

SurveyMonkey poll: Suburbs and the safety wedge

Data: SurveyMonkey poll of 35,732 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 31 to Sept. 6, 2020 with ±1% margin of error; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

White suburbanites who feel "very safe" in their communities are more likely to favor Joe Biden, while those who feel only somewhat safe move toward President Trump, according to new SurveyMonkey polling for Axios.

Why it matters: The findings help illuminate how Trump is using safety as a wedge issue ahead of the election — and why he's fanning fears of violent protests bleeding into the suburbs.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Winter view from Charlotte as winter storm Izzy creates dangerous conditions in Charlotte, N.C. on Jan. 16. Photo: Peter Zay/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The big picture: Heavy snow and ice accumulations are "likely to produce hazardous travel," downed trees and more power outages from the Mid-South to the Northeast, per the National Weather Service. Some parts of the U.S. can expect to see up to a foot of snow through Monday.

Updated 4 hours ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand.