News & Events

Respondents Weigh In On Pistorius Guilt/Innocence
Seton Hall > News & Events 

Oscar-Pistorius-002-250RESPONDENTS WEIGH IN ON PISTORIUS GUILT/INNOCENCE

A relatively large number of respondents (73%) are familiar with the Oscar Pistorius murder investigation going on in South Africa, with 56% saying they were familiar with him prior to this developing news story. While 69% have not formed a guilty/not guilty opinion, those who have formed an opinion believe he is guilty by nearly a 4-1 margin.

FEWER THAN HALF THINK ATHLETES MAKE GOOD ROLE MODELS - BUT WOE TO POLITICIANS AND MOVIE STARS!

While only 47% of Americans believe pro athletes to be good role models, the number plummets to 25% for movie stars and just 18% for politicians. Women were more positive about role models, with 52% saying athletes were good ones to just 41% of men. (For movie stars it was 29% yes for women, 20% yes for men, and for politicians, 21% scored a yes from women to only 15% among men.)

“These are basically all sad numbers,” noted Rick Gentile, director of the poll. “It would be hard to imagine it being under 50% for athletes a few decades ago, but the silver lining for the sports industry is that at least it led among these three categories.”

Only 53% thought athletes “should be held to a higher behavioral standard than the rest of us,” and 45% of movie stars rating a yes to that question, but 79% said politicians should be held to that high standard.

Reflective of that viewpoint, 37% felt that athletes who rate endorsement deals are “more likely” to behave inappropriately, with only 19% saying they would be less likely. Thirty percent said they would not be affected.

AFRICAN-AMERICANS SHOW SCANT INTEREST IN UPCOMING BASEBALL SEASON


While 22% of all respondents cited the start of the baseball season as the event they are most looking forward to (19% NCAA tournament, 16% NFL draft, 11% NBA playoffs, 7% Masters Golf), the number of African-Americans voting for baseball was only 5% (vs. 26% for whites), with blacks favoring the NBA playoffs (43%). When broken down ethnically, the sample has a higher margin of error, but “Not only are there fewer African Americans playing, but it’s reflected in the fan base as well,” said Gentile. “In fact, the Giants - defending World Series champions - with over 70 players in camp, do not have a single African-American player.”

DANICA PATRICK A BOOST TO NASCAR; MANZIEL COURSES ONLINE? DEPENDS ON AGE OF RESPONDENT

Danica Patrick’s being one of the favorites in the Daytona 500 last weekend was a boost to NASCAR, with 21% saying they were more interested in the race than without the attention she received. And while 69% said she had no effect on their opinion, “NASCAR can be very excited that one in five Americans were more interested, something any sport would love to have,” said Gentile. “That’s really a huge boost to the sport from a single participant.”

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel will be taking courses online instead of attending classes at Texas A&M. Asked if he should attend classes to be eligible to play, the responses followed an age pattern - those 18-29 said he should be eligible by a 2-1 margin, (66%-32%) and those 60+ said he shouldn’t be eligible by a similar 2-1 margin, (54% to 28%). The overall result was nearly split, 48% saying yes to having to attend classes and 44% saying no. “That clearly represents the comfort and familiarity with doing many things in life online for younger people,” said Gentile. 

To learn more see Bloomberg Covers Poll Results

For more information please contact:
Rick Gentile
(973) 761-7723
rick.gentile@shu.edu

 

Sign In to PirateNet