Monthly Archives: October 2017

Americans Throw Penalty Flags at Both Goodell and Trump for their Positions on the NFL Stand/Kneel Issue

Americans Throw Penalty Flags at Both Goodell and Trump for their Positions on the NFL Stand/Kneel Issue; 82% Say ‘Advise Parents on Risk of Youth Football’

South Orange, NJ, October 27, 2017 — By a 47% to 42% margin, Americans believe that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should have ordered the league’s players to stand during the national anthem.

By a wider margin – 55% v. 37% – people said it was inappropriate for President Trump to request that people sign a petition saying that the players stand.

These were among the findings of the latest Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted this week across the nation among 715 adults, on landlines and cellphones.  The poll has a margin of error of 3.7%.

“The president’s base, which polls consistently show to be in the 35% area, seems to support him at every turn without wavering, and that extends to his war of words with the NFL,” said Rick Gentle, director of the poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute as part of the university’s Stillman School of Business.  “The 37% support on this question is consistent with that.”

“But clearly,” added Gentile, “Goodell’s position lacks strong public support.  “This is a tough issue for people who love football, love the flag, and still respect freedom of expression.”

MATTERS OF HEALTH AND SAFETY IN YOUTH FOOTBALL ADDRESSED

The Poll also asked a number of questions related to the safety of youth football.  Asked if football organizing groups should have medical personnel advise parents about the dangers of playing organized football before their child signs up to play, a huge 82% said yes, with only 11% saying no.

Asked if they thought youth football leagues through high school are taking adequate steps to improve the safety of the game, 49% said yes, and only 22% said no.

Respondents were also asked at what age he or she would allow a child to play football, 39% said ages 7-11, 27% said ages 12-15, and only 9% said age 16 and over.  20% responded “never.”

“It is significant that one in five – 20% – say ‘never’ for the sport considered the most popular one in America,” noted Gentile.

The Official Seton Hall Sports Poll podcast discussing this topic (and yesterday’s release on baseball questions) with Seth Everett and Rick Gentile can be found at https://itunes.apple.com/mt/podcast/seton-hall-sports-poll/id1053266467.

 

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership — developing students in mind, heart and spirit — since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S.News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car from New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark.

For more information, visit www.shu.edu.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone October 23-25 among 715 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 3.8 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, AppelPR@gmail.com;
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall
michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu, 908-447-3034

The results:

  1. After a meeting with players and owners last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced he will not order the players to stand for the pre-game playing of the national anthem. Do you agree with his position or disagree?
    1. Agree 42%
    2. Disagree 47
    3. Don’t know/No opinion 11

 

  1. President Trump has asked people to sign a petition saying that they support standing for the national anthem in response to the NFL not insisting its players do so. Do you think it’s appropriate for the president to make such a request?
    1. Yes 37
    2. No 55
    3. Don’t know   8

 

 

 

  1. If you were to allow your child to play football, at what age would you allow him to play, 7-11, 12-15, 16 or older or never?
    1. 7-11 39
    2. 12-15 27
    3. 16+   9
    4. Never 20
    5. Don’t know/No opinion   6

 

  1. Do you think youth football leagues through high school are taking adequate steps to improve the safety of the game?
    1. Yes 49
    2. No 22
    3. Don’t know/No opinion 29

 

  1. Do you think football organizing groups should have medical personnel advise parents about the dangers of playing organized football before their child signs up to play?
    1. Yes 82
    2. No 11
    3. Don’t know/No opinion   7

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balls and Strikes Via Computer? Baseball Fans Shout ‘Keep the Umpire’

75% say they prefer an umpire to a computer making balls and strikes call; one third think undetected drugs are driving all those homers

South Orange, NJ, October 26, 2017 — In a week in which a record number of home runs were hit in a single World Series game…..and post-season coverage provides continuous use of the strike zone boundaries for each pitch….fans are clear that they want umpires – and not a computer – calling balls and strikes…..but also suspicious of the use of performing enhancing drugs driving all those homers.

These were among the findings in the latest Seton Hall Sports Poll, conducted this week across the nation among 715 adults, on landlines and cellphones.  The baseball data is based on the 62% of respondents that follow baseball and has a margin of error of 4.8%.

Perhaps driven by the umpire calls when the strike zone box is up, (or perhaps just by being traditionalists), a strong 75% preferred that the umpire make the ball-strike calls, with only 11% opting for computer calls.  (14% had no opinion).

“Either fans are leaning toward the more traditional way of doing things or they simply don’t want to give up their God-given right to bash the umpire for missing ball and strike calls,” said Rick Gentle, director of the poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute as part of the university’s Stillman School of Business.”

On the matter of home runs, of which a record number were hit this season in the Major Leagues, respondents were asked to say “yes” or “no” to a variety of factors.

Reasons for Record Number of Home Runs:

 

Yes      No

A more lively ball                               29        40

Undetected use of PEDs                   31        46

Improved batting techniques          62        20

Hitters more focused on HRs           55        24

Bad pitching                                        28        48

“While performance enhancing drugs are not among the top reasons, the fact that nearly 1 in 3 fans think it’s still part of the game should be alarming to the Commissioner’s Office,” noted  Gentile.

“Obviously the balls are juiced,” Houston pitcher Dallas Keuchel told USA Today, today.  “I think they’re juiced 100%.”

On pace-of-play, another much discussed issue among baseball people, fans were pretty evenly divided, favoring by 43%-40% a rule restricting in-inning mound meetings….but stayed traditional on limiting in-inning pitching changes, voting “no” by 57%-26%.

“The latter would be a major rule change which would need approval of the player’s union as well as the Commissioner’s Office, and clearly among fans, there is no desire to go there,” said Gentile.

The Poll also asked,  “how often would you say you watch an entire live post-season baseball game,” with 45% saying “occasionally,” 26% saying “often” and 17% saying “never”.

The Official Seton Hall Sports Poll podcast discussing this topic with Seth Everett and Rick Gentile will be posted later today.

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership — developing students in mind, heart and spirit — since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S.News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car from New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark.

For more information, visit www.shu.edu.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone October 23-25 among 715 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 3.8 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, AppelPR@gmail.com
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall
michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu, 908-447-3034

The results:

 

 

  1. How closely would you say you follow baseball, very closely, closely, not closely or not at all?
    1. Very closely 11
    2. Closely 23
    3. Not closely 30
    4. Not at all 37

 

(IF “NOT AT ALL” SKIP TO DEMOGRAPHICS)

  1. This season, more home runs were hit in the major leagues than ever in history. Please tell me which of the following reasons you think could be responsible, a more lively ball?
    1. Yes 29
    2. No 40
    3. Don’t know/No opinion 32

 

  1. Undetected use of performance enhancing drugs by players
    1. Yes 31
    2. No 46
    3. Don’t know/No opinion 23

 

  1. Improved batting techniques
    1. Yes 62
    2. No 20
    3. Don’t know/No opinion 19

 

  1. Hitters more focused on home run hitting
    1. Yes 55
    2. No 24
    3. Don’t know/No opinion 22
  2. Bad pitching
  3. Yes 28
  4. No 48
  5. Don’t know/No opinion 25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. How often would you say you watch an entire live post-season baseball game, often, occasionally or never?
    1. Often 26
    2. Occasionally 45
    3. Never 17
    4. Don’t know/No opinion 12

 

 

 

  1. Would you be in favor of a rule restricting the number of in-inning mound meetings in an attempt to speed up the game?
    1. Yes 43
    2. No 40
    3. Don’t know/No opinion 17

 

  1. Would you be in favor of a rule restricting the number in-inning pitching changes in an attempt to speed up the game?
    1. Yes 26
    2. No 57
    3. Don’t know 17

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Would you like to see balls and strikes called by a computer rather than an umpire behind home plate?
    1. Computer 11
    2. Umpire 75
    3. Don’t know/No opinion 14

 

 

Seton Hall Law Professor Charles Sullivan in ESPN Article on Legal Ramifications of Benching NFL Anthem Protesters

Seton Hall Law Professor and Associate Dean, Charles Sullivan, was featured in an ESPN article regarding the legal ramifications, if any, for NFL teams that bench players for participating in protests during the national anthem before games.

Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, has indicated that he would “bench” players that do not stand for the national anthem.

Sullivan, a noted expert in employment law who has published three of the leading legal casebooks on the subject, appeared in an article entitled, “Is it legal for Jerry Jones to bench players who do not stand?”

Debate surrounding the protests has been heated and, according to our most recent Sports Poll, has resulted in a decline in NFL viewership.

As this graphic from Fox News shows, of those who are watching fewer games, more than half attribute the decrease to the anthem protests (47% in disapproval, 6% as a show of solidarity with the players).

And the number who said they are watching less NFL games is substantial. The New York Post, citing our poll headlined it succinctly: “30 Percent are Watching Less — and Most Blame Anthem.”

Although football is a game, the NFL is a multi-billion dollar business, the players employees and the owners employers.

Given that the NFL relies heavily upon its TV contracts and those contracts are based upon the advertising revenue that mass viewership brings, it is not surprising that a decline in viewership based primarily upon one issue has that issue becoming a paramount concern for NFL owners.

As the ESPN article notes, beyond the presidential twitterstorm, social media campaigns and various boycotts both for and against the anthem protests:

According to a half-dozen experts we contacted, workplace employment law may have the last word. While the experts are divided on who would win such a legal battle, our sample ruled narrowly in favor of the owners.

Charles Sullivan, professor of law, Seton Hall University: “Where I think the players have a problem is there’s not really an adverse employment action if they are simply benched. They are still being paid, and I don’t think they necessarily have the right to play in games.”
Advantage: Owners

You can read the full article here, “Is it legal for Jerry Jones to bench players who do not stand?

You can read more about the most recent Sports Poll and its media coverage here: http://www.shu.edu/business/news/seton-hall-sports-poll-featured-in-media-nationwide.cfm

 

Poll Finds Americans Favor Protective Foul Line Netting in Baseball Stadiums, Except for the Young

South Orange, NJ, October 5, 2017 — A poll conducted by the Seton Hall Sports Poll has found that by an overall margin of 49% to 31, Americans believe that baseball stadiums should extend netting down the foul lines to protect fans from foul balls and wayward bats. The remaining 20% either did not know or had no opinion.

When broken down according to age, however, a different view appears: 18-29 year old respondents reached the opposite conclusion, opposing the extension of protective netting by a 39% to 33% margin.

In fact, the number in favor of protective netting along foul lines in baseball stadiums rose in correlation to age group.

Ages 18 – 29, 39% opposed installation of protective netting while 33% were in favor

Ages 30 – 49, 49% favored installation of protective netting while 36% opposed

Ages 45 – 59, 52% favored installation of protective netting while 30% opposed

Ages 60+, 56% favored installation of protective netting while 23% opposed

“Clearly the concerns about safety grow as our respondents get older. It’s rare that such a direct correlation occurs from age group to age group,” noted Rick Gentile, Director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is sponsored by the Sharkey Institute as part of the University’s Stillman School of Business.

The New York Yankees recently announced that they would “significantly expand” the protective netting at Yankee Stadium after a toddler was seriously injured when struck in the face by a foul ball.

The poll of 845 adults (on both landline and cellphone) was conducted across the US on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday last week.  It has a margin of error of 3.4%.

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership — developing students in mind, heart and spirit — since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S.News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car from New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark.

For more information, visit www.shu.edu.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone September 25-27 among 845 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 3.8 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, AppelPR@gmail.com;
Michael Ricciardelli, Associate Director of Media Relations, Seton Hall
michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu, 908-447-3034

Seton Hall Poll Takes ‘Kneeling’ Question to Just NFL Fans, vs. Last Week’s ‘All Americans’

South Orange, NJ, October 5, 2017 — Statisticians at the Seton Hall Sports Poll dug a little deeper this week, looking at figures reflecting the opinions of people who identified themselves as “fans of the NFL,” and separating their responses to the overall responses published last week.

The excision of those results showed that nearly a third – 30% – said they were watching fewer games this season (9% were watching more, 55% about the same), and that 52% of those watching less gave the reason as players protesting the national anthem.

The poll was conducted last week and results covering all Americans were released on September 28.  (http://blogs.shu.edu/sportspoll/2017/09/28/84-support-nfl-players-right-to-protest-but-vary-on-how-to-carry-that-out-only-16-say-protesters-should-be-dropped/).  The poll numbers for those who said they were NFL fans were not dramatically different from the overall numbers, but still of interest.

As to whether NFL fans agreed or disagreed with the act of protest during the national anthem, 38% agreed with the gesture, (vs. 33% of “all” responders last week), and 45% disagreed with it (vs. 44% of “all responders.”).

On President Trump’s call for those who kneel to be fired, 28% of NFL fans agree with the President, (exactly even with the result from all Americans), while 55% agree with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that the President’s statement were divisive, which was up from the 50% when all Americans were asked.

91% OF NFL FANS STILL PREFER GAMES ON TRADITIONAL TV

(This was not part of last week’s release).

The poll also revealed that despite talks of “cord-cutting” and efforts to introduce other devices for fans to follow games, 91% of NFL fans still watch the games on traditional television, with only 4% saying “on computer” and just 1% citing a mobile device.   

“If this is the emerging technology for watching live football, it clearly has a long way to go,” noted Rick Gentile, Director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which is sponsored by The Sharkey Institute.

The poll of 845 adults (on both landline and cellphone) was conducted across the US on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday of last week.  It has a margin of error of 3.4%.   411 of the respondents made up the “fans of the NFL” sample.

ONLY 18% OF AMERICANS SAY THAT ESPN’S JEMELE HILL SHOULD BE FIRED FOR ‘WHITE SUPREMACIST’ TWEET

(This was not part of last week’s release).

Only 18% of Americans believe that ESPN broadcaster Jemele Hill should be fired because of statements she posted on her personal Twitter account, which a White House spokesperson called a “fireable offense.”  She had called President Trump a “white supremacist.”   

38% believed that reporters working for media companies should be prohibited from using personal social media accounts to make controversial social or political statements.

68% said Ms. Hill should not be fired; 18% said she should. There was a sharp divide among African-American responders and whites; 84% of African-Americans felt she should not be fired and only 5% said she should.  Among whites, it was 65% for not firing her, and 22% for firing her.

“Firing her was obviously considered too severe,” noted Gentile.  “But her Tweet seems to have opened a dialogue about limits.  That could be a healthy thing.”

A podcast by Seth Everett interviewing Rick Gentile, can be found at
https://itunes.apple.com/mt/podcast/seton-hall-sports-poll/id1053266467

ABOUT SETON HALL UNIVERSITY

One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership — developing students in mind, heart and spirit — since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 90 academic programs, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, U.S.News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car from New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark.

For more information, visit www.shu.edu.

About the poll:

This poll was conducted by telephone September 25-27 among 845 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 3.8 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 Public Relations AppelPR@gmail.com;
Seton Hall University Associate Director of Media Relations, Michael Ricciardelli
michael.ricciardelli@shu.edu 908-447-3034

The results:

The Poll revisited last week’s results by separating out the responses from people who identified themselves as NFL fans.  The second column shows those results (the first column repeats the results by all respondents:

  1. This season, do you find yourself watching more NFL games, fewer NFL games or about the same amount of NFL games?

More   5%       9

Fewer 29        30

About the same 50        55

Don’t know 16          6

(IF “FEWER” ASK QUESTION 2.  IF “MORE”, “SAME”, OR “DON’T KNOW” SKIP

QUESTION 2)

 

  1. Why have you watched fewer NFL games? Please pick your main reason from the following:The games aren’t as good as in past years   3
    Too many games on TV   2          3

Too many commercial interruptions   4          4

The players’ protests during the national anthem 47        52

Boycotting in support of player protests   6          6

Bothered by danger of head injuries   1          1

Other 21        23

Don’t know 15          7

 

3.Do you generally watch live NFL games on TV, a mobile device or on a computer?

TV 70        91

Mobile device   1          1

Computer   3          4

Don’t watch at all 19          4

Don’t know   7          1

4. Colin Kaepernick waged a protest last season by kneeling during the national anthem. This year other players have continued the protest by not standing during the playing of the anthem. Do you approve, disapprove or have no opinion about the gesture?

Approve 32        38

Disapprove 44        45

No opinion 22        17

Don’t know   3          1

 

5. Which of the following statements do you agree with most:

I don’t support the players’ right to protest and believe they should be ordered to stand for the anthem or be dropped from the team if they refuse 16       15

I support the players’ right to protest but believe they should stand for the anthem, finding a different way to express their political opinions 49     49

I support the players’ right to protest and I think not standing for the anthem is an acceptable way to protest                       35          36

6. Colin Kaepernick has not been signed by an NFL team and some say it is because of last year’s protest. Do you think he would be signed today if he had not protested or has he not been signed because he’s not a good enough player?

Protested 47        57

Not good enough 19        23

Don’t know/No opinion 34        20

 

7. President Trump has called on NFL owners to fire any player who refuses to stand for the national anthem. Commissioner Roger Goodell and several NFL owners have responded that the president’s comments were divisive. Whom do you most agree with?

President Trump 28        28

Commissioner Goodell and the owners 50        55

Neither                                                                                     7          7

Both   2          1

Don’t know/No opinion 13          9