It seems there is support for college players forming a union, but a poll conducted by HBO Real Sports and Marist College Center for Sports says three-fourths of Americans do not believe college athletes should be allowed to join a union.
According to a released statement from HBO Real Sports, 75 percent of Americans think college athletes should not be allowed to join a union since they are not college employees. The National Labor Relations Board in Chicago ruled in favor of the College Athletes Players Association on Wednesday, helping to pave the way for the union started by Northwestern football students to unionize.
The poll also suggests Americans believe the best players in college sports receive special treatment by local police in the college community. HBO Real Sports/Marist Poll reports 66 percent of those polled believe college players receive such special treatment, and 25 percent believe student athletes are treated on the same level of a typical student at a university or college. The poll also brings to the forefront the idea that race may be having an impact on how Americans view the issue of student-athletes and unions.
Per the report, 31 percent of those polled believe there is some truth to the argument the reason college athletes are not paid stems from some race issue. It goes on to clarify that 61 percent of the African-Americans polled believe athletes are not paid because of race, compared to 33 percent of Latinos and 25 percent of white Americans.
“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,” says 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.”
We knew that the topic of players unions was a polarizing subject for many, but now it seems it has reached another divide.