Rasmussen Poll Report: Michael Vick [Scott Rasmussen]
The National Football League on Monday partially reinstated Michael Vick after his 18-month prison term for running a dogfighting ring, but Americans are closely divided over whether it’s a good idea for the league to let the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback play again.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 35% favor allowing Vick to return to the NFL, while 39% oppose the move. Seventeen percent (17%) say they’ve never heard of the disgraced quarterback, and 10% are not sure what the league should do.
The survey was taken prior to the NFL’s announcement of Vick’s conditional reinstatement and his unsuccessful efforts thus far this week to find a team that is interested in him.
Men by a 45% to 40% margin say Vick should be allowed to play again. Women by 11 points – 37% to 26% - disagree. But women are also nearly three times as likely not to have heard of Vick.
Adults under the age of 40 are more likely to support his return to professional football than those who are older. Eighty-two percent (82%) of blacks think the NFL should let Vick, who is African-American, play again, but the plurality of whites (46%) disagrees.
Under the conditional reinstatement, Vick can participate in practices and the final two games of pre-season, but he cannot play in regular season games until at least mid-October. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he will consider Vick’s full reinstatement at that time.
Vick isn’t the only former quarterback in the news. Former Green Bay Packers star Brett Favre is considering coming out of retirement. The Minnesota Vikings were initially interested in him, and 35% of adults in Minnesota said the Vikings would be a better team than last year with Favre at the helm.
In a survey last September, 54% of adults said they were at least somewhat likely to watch professional football on TV on a fall weekend. Thirty-eight percent (38%) said they were very likely to do so.
Fifty-two percent (52%) of men said they were very likely to watch televised pro football on a fall weekend, compared to 26% of women. Women were nearly three times as likely not to watch it at all.