NFL fumbling as political correctness has gone too far: Fox News Poll

Has political correctness gone too far in the United States?  Most voters say yes -- and think it often hurts the country.

By a 68-19 percent margin, the latest Fox News poll finds voters feel political correctness has “gone too far.”  That’s about the same as last fall when it was 66-23 percent (September 2017).

And voters see fallout:  nearly half, 46 percent, think political or business leaders “frequently” make bad decisions because they are worried about being politically correct, and another 34 percent feel it happens “sometimes.”  Fifteen percent think it’s “not very often” or “hardly ever.”

Yet, the reverse is true when voters are asked about themselves.  When asked how often they stop themselves from saying something because they think someone might call them “racist” or “sexist,” 63 percent say “not very often” or “hardly ever.”  Far fewer believe they “frequently” (12 percent) or “sometimes” (23 percent) self-edit their comments.

Among Republicans, most feel the country is too PC (83 percent) and almost all think leaders regularly make bad decisions out of fear of being politically incorrect (89 percent).  Fewer Democrats, although still majorities, feel the country is too censored (55 percent), and think top people make bad decisions because of it (72 percent).

There’s not much difference between most key groups on self-censorship, except when it comes to age: voters under 45 years (45 percent) are more likely than those ages 45 and older (28 percent) to “bleep” themselves.

NFL down but not out

The National Football League got sacked again by a low favorability rating, just weeks after the league’s May 23 announcement of a national anthem rule.

The NFL’s popularity continues to lose ground, with 42 percent viewing the league favorably, down from 46 percent in 2017 and 64 percent in 2013.

The poll also marks the first time more voters have a negative view of the organization (43 percent unfavorable) than a positive one – albeit just by one percentage point. 

The NFL’s new national anthem rule garners a 61 percent approval rating, despite the low opinion of the league.

One-third (33 percent) disagrees with requiring “players who are on the field before games to stand during the national anthem.” 

Black voters (56 percent) are twice as likely as white voters (28 percent) to dislike the new rule, and five times as many Democrats (54 percent) as Republicans (10 percent) disapprove. 

“Recent controversies -- the handling of sexual assault cases, brain trauma controversies, the anthem issue -- seem to have taken a toll on attitudes toward the NFL as an institution,” says Republican Pollster Daron Shaw who conducts the Fox News Poll with Democrat Chris Anderson.  “These attitudes don’t necessarily mean people won’t watch or go to games, but they are clearly a cause for concern among NFL officials.”

The NFL still does well with its base.  Among self-identified football fans, nearly two-thirds view the league positively (64 percent favorable vs. 31 percent unfavorable), and 60 percent approve of the new anthem rule.

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,001 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from June 3-6, 2018.  The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.