Americans Side With NFL Players Over Team Owners in Labor Talks, Poll Says

Americans are siding with National Football League players over team owners in their labor dispute, a poll found.

The public favor players by 35 percent to 22 percent, according to the Seton Hall University Sports Poll. In a February survey, 21 percent said they backed the players and 18 percent supported the league. A third of those polled said a possible lockout would impact the 2011 season, an increase of 10 percent over three weeks ago.

“This is a battle of millionaires vs. billionaires and not a traditional labor dispute,” Rick Gentile, director of the poll, said in a statement. “It appears the public will blame the owners more than the players if there is a work stoppage, in keeping with the nationwide sentiment against management.”

The owners and the NFL Players’ Association today agreed to extend talks on a labor contract for one day, delaying a possible lockout for at least 24 hours.

A majority of those polled said they believe the owners’ claim that the players are paid too much; that the players should be allowed to see the owners’ financial records; that the U.S. government should stay out the discussions; and that the league should be prohibited from collecting television fees if there is a lockout.

The random telephone poll surveyed 786 Americans and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nancy Kercheval in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.