Support for Boycott of Beijing Olympic Games Over Human Rights Issues; Support for Athletes, Leagues, Unions Championing Social Change
South Orange, NJ, April 29, 2021 – By a 55-31 percent margin, a new Seton Hall Sports Poll has found that sports fans across the country support Major League Baseball’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta in the wake of Georgia’s new voting laws. Those who call themselves “avid fans” are even more supportive, agreeing with MLB by a 67-25 percent margin.
The general population was also in support of the move from MLB by a 49-31 percent margin, with 20 percent indicating “don’t know/no opinion.” The “don’t know/no opinion” choice was recited by 14 percent of sports fans and only eight percent of avid fans.
These were the findings of a Seton Hall Sports Poll conducted April 23-26 geographically spread across the United States using a national representative sample weighted according to gender, age, ethnicity, education, income and geography based on U.S. Census Bureau figures. The Poll had 1,563 adult respondents with a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percent.
Super Bowl Removed from Arizona?
Almost exactly the same level of support was shown for the possibility of moving the 2023 Super Bowl out of Arizona should that state follow Georgia with similar voting law changes. By 55-32 percent (13 percent don’t know/no opinion), sports fans would support moving the game, with avid fans in support of a move by 64-27 percent (9 percent don’t know/no opinion). Among the general public, there is also support for moving the game by 49-30 percent with 21 percent in the “don’t know/no opinion” category.
“When I had the profound pleasure of meeting with Nelson Mandela in 1993 as the Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association, he encouraged us to use our positions in sport to become agents of change,” said Seton Hall Professor Charles Grantham, director of the Center for Sport Management within the Stillman School of Business. “It is perhaps a long time in coming, but there would seem to be more support than ever for that proposition amongst the leagues, the players and the fans as well as the general public. But so far, the moves are largely symbolic and will require the leagues to utilize their strong political lobby to effectuate legislative and policy change.”
An Olympic Boycott for Beijing Games?