Northwestern players may have won an early battle with the National Labor Relations Board, but it appears they have a lot of work left to do to win over the American public.
According to a poll conducted by HBO Real Sports and The Marist College Center for Sports Communication, three in four Americans (75 percent) think college athletes should not be allowed to join a union since they aren't college employees. The poll also shows that 22 percent feel the student athletes shoudl be able to join a union while the remaining 4 percent are "unsure."
The HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll also shows that 28 percent of non-white residents are in favor or athletes unionizing, while only 19 percent of white residents support the idea. On the flip side, 67 percent of non-white Americans are against the idea of a student athlete's union compared to 78 percent of white residents.
“When the majority of revenue generating college athletes are unpaid African-American players and the majority of coaches are often white and well compensated, it almost compels the public to raise the question of race,” said Dr. Keith Strudler, Director of The Marist College Center for Sports Communication. “It is a complex issue. While sports often act as a true melting pot, it feels less apparent when financial compensation in college sports doesn't reflect that ideal.”
And it's not just unionizing, either. The HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll found that 67 percent of Americans don't think college athletes should be paid, while 29 percent believe they should be and four percent are "unsure."