Poll: Owners more to blame than players for labor strife

NFL owners carry more of the blame for the current labor situation than the players, and fans believe they will continue to support the game when it returns, according a national poll released Wednesday.

Boston-based Suffolk University Political Research Center and the Boston Herald surveyed 1,070 likely presidential voters and asked two football-based questions: who's to blame, the owners or the players, and if the labor stoppage means a loss of NFL games, would enthusiasm for the game be diminished? The poll found the following:

» Thirty-two percent of the respondents blamed the owners for the lockout, with only 19 percent blaming the players. Thirty percent of respondents were undecided and the remainder said they were not fans of the NFL. Thirty-four percent of respondents said their enthusiasm would not be diminished if NFL games were lost, higher than the 18 percent who said they would have less enthusiasm.

» In placing blame, younger people were more likely to blame the owners -- 39 percent of those ages 35-44 -- compared to 28 percent in the 55-64 age range.

» Only 12 percent of African-Americans blamed the players. Fifty-two percent blamed the owners. Among whites, the percentage of blame to the owners is 30, 19 for players.

» Politically speaking, 39 percent of Democrats blame the owners and 14 percent blame the players. Republicans were evenly split, 24 to 25.

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