Attitudes Toward NFL Cheerleaders and Restrictive Team Policies

Public Widely Disagrees With Team Policies Banning Personal Religious Social Media Posts or Fraternization with Players

South Orange, NJ, May 3, 2018 — A huge majority of Americans disagree with the policies of a number of NFL teams who ban their cheerleaders from using social media for posts of a religious nature. And a similar majority opposes team policies on fraternizing with players.

By 73%-20% respondents disagreed with the ban on religious posts on the cheerleaders’ personal social media accounts, equally divided among men and women.

And by 72%-20%, respondents disagreed with the banning of fraternization with players at restaurants, bars and clubs. Again, the response was equal between men and women.

The poll was conducted last week, among 736 Americans on land lines and cellphones, with a margin of error of +/- 3.7%. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Stillman School of Business and its Sharkey Institute. Rick Gentile is the director.

Men and women disagreed on questions of provocative costumes and posing for provocative photos.

On the question of cheerleader costumes, by 56% to 31%, Americans disagreed that they were too provocative. But on this question, women were equally divided (44%-43% saying too provocative, while men disagreed that they were too provocative by a 69%-19% divide).

On the question of a ban on cheerleaders posing provocatively on their own social media accounts, the public disagreed with the ban by 50%-40%, but it was again much different broken down by gender. Women approved of the ban by 53%-41%, while men disapproved of the ban by 59%-35%.

The poll also asked how people felt about the Los Angeles Rams adding male cheerleaders, and on this there was approval by 66%-20%, with men and women largely approving, women even more so. (Women 71%-16% approval, men 60%-23% approval).

On the matter of male cheerleaders for the Rams, 79% of those ages 18-29 approved, and the number declined to 59% for those 60+.



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About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone April 23-25 among 736 adults in the United States. The Seton Hall Sports Poll is conducted by the Sharkey Institute.

Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard landline and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The Seton Hall Sports Poll has been conducted regularly since 2006.

Media: Media: Marty Appel,;
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall, 908-447-3034

The results:

  1. Do you think the outfits worn by NFL cheerleaders are too provocative?

Yes       31 (m-19%, w-43%)

No       56 (m-69%, w-44%)

Don’t know/No opinion       13 (m-12%, w-14%)

  1. NFL teams have rules that limit their cheerleaders behavior. After each rule tell me if you approve or disapprove: Cheerleaders cannot post religious views or content on their own social media accounts.

Approve       20 (m-20%, w-20%)

Disapprove       73 (m-74%, w-72%)

Don’t know/No opinion       7 (m- 5%, w- 8%)


  1. Cheerleaders cannot post provocative or suggestive pictures of themselves on their own social media accounts.

Approve       44 (m-35%, w-53%)

Disapprove       50 (m-59%, w-41%)

Don’t know/No Opinion       6 (m- 6%, w- 6%)

Cheerleaders cannot fraternize with the team’s players, banning them from being in the same restaurant, bar or club as the players.

Approve       20 (m-20%, w-19%)

Disapprove       72 (m-72%, w-73%)

Don’t know/No opinion       8 (m- 8%, w- 8%)

  1. The LA Rams have hired men to perform the same dance routines along with the women cheerleaders during games. Do you approve or disapprove?

Approve       66 (m-60%, w-71%)

Disapprove       20 (m-23%, w-16%)

Don’t know/No opinion       15 (m-17%, w-13%)

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