Female reporters should be barred from National Football League locker rooms, according to a majority of women surveyed in a Seton Hall University poll.
The telephone poll conducted this week among 1,026 randomly selected adults nationwide found 59 percent of 556 women and 47 percent of 470 men said female reporters should be banned from NFL locker rooms. Thirty-four percent of the respondents said all reporters should be banned. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
“It is unusual to find women more than men in favor of limiting a woman’s right, in this case a reporter in a men’s locker room,” Rick Gentile, director of the Seton Hall Sports Poll, said in a statement.
The findings come two weeks after the NFL said the New York Jets had shown “unprofessional conduct” when they hooted and hollered at Ines Sainz, a 32-year-old reporter for the Mexican network TV Azteca, who was waiting to interview quarterback Mark Sanchez. The NFL also reminded all 30 teams that the same rules of access applied to all members of the news media.
In the same poll, 74 percent of respondents said the NFL should create rules mandating a specific amount of recovery time for players who sustain concussions.
Congress, which has held hearings on the prevalence and effects of concussions in recent months, is considering a bill mandating that local school districts take greater precautionary measures.
Fifty-six percent of respondents said the government shouldn’t get involved.
“This seems to be in keeping with the public’s current view that the government should not be taking on additional responsibilities,” Gentile said.
Respondents also addressed whether player misbehavior off the field detracts from the enjoyment of NFL games. Older respondents were more critical of the athletes and the league’s effort to clean up bad behavior away from the game.
Fifty-six percent of all respondents said bad behavior detracted from the game, but the number fell to 33 percent among 18- to 29-year-olds.
When asked if the league is doing enough to eliminate poor off-field behavior, 26 of respondents said yes, but the number improved to 41 percent among 18- to 29-year-olds. The poll questions didn’t specify any particular case or category of behavior among players.
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