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Public image of sports industry drops amid pandemic

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Public perception of the sports industry has dropped amid the pandemic — which has forced leagues to play games with fewer fans, or no fans at all — according to a Gallup poll released Tuesday.

From August 2019 to this year, the percentage of people who said they had a positive perception of the sports industry dropped 15 points, from 45 percent to 30 percent.

This year, 30 percent of survey respondents said they viewed the sports industry positively and 40 percent viewed it negatively, compared to 2019 when 45 percent viewed it positively and 25 percent negatively.

The drop is particularly notable among partisans. 

Democrats view the sports industry largely the same this year as they did in 2019, while Republicans dropped from a 11-point net-positive score in 2019 to a net-negative 35 points today.

The poll was conducted July 30-Aug. 12, right as the NBA season kicked off with players kneeling for the national anthem and playing on courts painted with “Black Lives Matter.”

It was also conducted before the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., on Aug. 23, which led to a brief boycott of the NBA. Conservatives have been critical of players participating in the boycott. 

The poll surveyed 1,031 adults and reported a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Tags Black Lives Matter NBA

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