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NBC News/Marist poll: America shrugs off scandals plaguing NFL

by jmaloni

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Thu, Sep 18th 2014 10:40 pm

According to an exclusive new NBC News/Marist poll, nearly 90 percent of Americans say the recent outcry about domestic violence in the NFL hasn't changed how much professional football they watch - and less than a third of the nation believes NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should resign. 

The poll also finds a majority of Americans - including nearly six in 10 self-described football fans - say they disapprove of the way the NFL has handled the domestic-violence allegations.

Additional analysis from NBC News' Mark Murray is below and available online here: http://nbcnews.to/1swSJCX

Exclusive: NBC poll reveals America shrugs off scandals plaguing NFL

by Mark Murray

NBC News

So much for all that outrage. Nearly 90 percent of Americans say the recent outcry about domestic violence in the NFL hasn't changed how much professional football they watch - and less than a third of the nation believes NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should resign.

That's the result of an exclusive NBC News/Marist poll, which also finds that a majority of Americans - including nearly six in 10 self-described football fans - say they disapprove of the way the NFL has handled the domestic-violence allegations.

The poll comes after a series of damaging stories indicating NFL officials had turned a blind eye to systemic domestic violence among some of its players. The mounting controversies began with a new video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his now-wife unconscious in an Atlantic City elevator. The NFL had suspended Rice for two games due to the incident. But the Ravens later released the All-Pro running back after the video became public.

Since then, other allegations of domestic violence by NFL players has surfaced, including by Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson, who was indicted for hitting his 4-year-old son with a tree branch to punish him, and by Arizona Cardinals player Jonathan Dwyer, who was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife.

The NBC/Marist poll shows 53 percent of Americans and 57 percent of football fans disapprove of the way the NFL has handled the recent reports of domestic violence. The survey finds men are more disapproving of the NFL (55 percent say so) than women (50 percent).

Despite the criticism, fewer than a third of Americans - 29 percent - believe Goodell should be forced to step down from his job.

And a whopping 86 percent of fans say the domestic violence news hasn't changed the amount of professional football they watch. That's compared will 11 percent of fans who say they're less likely to watch, and 3 percent who are more likely to watch.

Regarding the indictment of Peterson, who has been barred from all team activities until his legal case is resolved, 60 percent of Americans say it is wrong for parents to discipline their children by striking them with a paddle, switch or belt.  Just 34 percent believe that kind of corporal punishment by parents is right. But that number jumps to 51 percent among respondents from the south.

The NBC/Marist poll was conducted Sept. 16-17 of 606 adults (which has a margin of error of plus-minus 4.0 percentage points) and 426 football fans (plus-minus 4.7 percentage points).

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