The labor dispute is rather complicated, and it has been known to take quite a few twists and turns. As a result, polls measuring where the public’s disdain lies are constantly changing. In lieu of recent events, this seems like a perfect time to check in on those polls.
The most interesting one comes from ProFootballTalk. In a new poll launched after the news broke Monday that the league’s request for a stay was granted by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, it seems as though the owners are only gaining favor over the players:
At last check — right around draft time — the two sides were pretty much even.
So, why has the public’s support shifted so dramatically? Well, maybe the people are sick and tired of the rhetoric that continues to spew from DeMaurice Smith’s mouth. At this point, the guy is flat-out lying about the league suing the players to avoid playing football.
You get the feeling the players are growing frustrated with Smith’s look-at-me antics. And that seems to be rubbing off on the fans, who figure that if the players are digging in after Monday’s decision then there’s no end in sight to this disastrous situation.
Of course, it’s also possible that there hasn’t been a dramatic shift. Maybe the faction of PFT readers that have voted in the latest poll are misrepresenting the majority of NFL fans.
The Boston-based Suffolk University Political Research Center conducted a nationwide poll that received 1,070 responses from likely presidential voters, and the full results will be released today. But the Herald, which advised on the football questions, received a sneak peek.
In the poll, 32 percent of the respondents blamed the owners for the lockout, which will now last at least into mid-June. That’s compared to 19 percent who blame the players and 30 percent who are undecided.
It’s not clear when that poll was taken, but the juxtaposition of those results with the PFT poll results can force you to wonder what the hell is going on.
My theory: The respondents to the Suffolk poll weren’t necessarily hardcore football fans. They were “likely presidential voters” who were asked about football. The easy answer to this question for a non-football fan or a casual football fan: “I blame the billionaires.”
Meanwhile, PFT readers are likely to be much more informed on the intricacies of the negotiation, litigation and mediation at hand. That’s why they sided with the owners.
Frankly, I have trouble understanding how someone could study the details of what has taken place over the last 10 weeks and come to a different conclusion.