CNN Poll Shows General Public Blames Players Over Owners by Wide Margin

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Published: November 17, 2011

Yesterday’s poll on CNN.com asked readers to assign blame for the NBA lockout, and by an overwhelming margin CNN viewers (who I imagine are fairly representative of the average person) chose both. When I last checked the poll, 24,460 votes had been cast. 5459 (22%) went with the players. Exactly 3000 (12%) chose just the owners, meaning that by a nearly 2-to-1 margin people are choosing owners over players.

This is hardly the first time it’s appeared that the Owners are winning the PR war. For quite awhile the Hornets247 poll has asked our readers who they blame, and our results have pointed toward Hornets fans feeling the same way. 60 percent of readers who participated went with the players as being more responsible.

Recently I was in Arizona visiting family, and even they were outspoken about the players as being responsible. The odd thing? Most of them don’t follow basketball. My nine year old nephew was the lone exception. He’s a beast and will likely be running the world one day, but that’s besides the point. He actually does follow basketball (damn Lakers fan) and had no qualms about pointing the finger right at the Players. Whenever I closed my eyes during his explanation I thought I was listening to David Stern on the BS Report. I was both impressed and concerned at the same time.

At this point I won’t even pretend to have any idea how this will actually play out if the parties don’t finish these negotiations off soon, but let’s just say that it’s a good thing the court won’t be swayed by public opinion. If so, this beat down would likely be a slaughter.

The odd thing is that looking at this purely from a PR standpoint it would seem like the Players had the easier path toward getting public opinion on their side. They made the concessions. They are the ones people actually want to see. Maybe I’m just overlooking the obvious, but I can’t help but think they need someone new directing PR on their side.

Maybe Stern could recommend someone?

11 comments
sundance
sundance

Sorry but I don't get public sentiment. Why should I side with the owners? How is this any different from the Occupy movement? People are upset with government bailing out businesses, but it's OK for NBA owners to demand that players make up for their losses? How about if they try and think for once before giving out bad contracts to players who don't deserve them? I'm fairly sure if owners win on the BRI issue, that money is going straight to owners' pockets not to reducing ticket prices. The public hates the players because they're millionaires, but not the owners who happen to be billionaires because they take a risk in owning a professional sports team. That's such a laugh. These owners have the biggest fucking egos around, why do you suppose they take that risk? Believe me, it's not just for profit. They'll willingly chance losing money if need be. But they'll stick it up the players or fans' collective asses if given the opportunity, without hesitation.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

1) Most of the national sportswriters are pointing to the fact that the owners have the leverage and the players seem to be fighting for the upper tier instead of the whole. When Stephen A. Smith is bashing the players, you know they're in a tough spot. 2) Big Baby, Kevin Martin, and others are coming out voicing their displeasure with how the whole situation is handled. 3) The players have done a terrible job at making their points to the general public and pointing the finger back at the owners, simply saying "it's not good enough" over and over. 4) "Superteams" don't sound fun to anybody that's not LA/Miami/New York. 5) Lebron James is on team player. 6) Michael Jordan is on team owner. 7) The NBA players have proven time and again that they are easily the most polarizing personalities of any sport to whites due to their general arrogance and celebrity-esque attitudes. 8) 50/50 is better than 48/52 that the NFL players took. 9) Economy sucks and players seem to think that they don't have to suffer like the general population. 10) There are legitimate gripes about owners losing money, especially when you hear ex-GM's from teams like Portland claiming that a break-even season was a success. 11) We're losing a season over a couple B-grade issues. 12) Lebron James is on team player.

paul
paul

I think there are very complicated reasons...other than the obvious one, they see greedy men doing sport for WAY too much money and now wanting even more. However, they will say this about any entertainer if asked. There is the envy of those who don’t with those that do. Hell, today we are all being told to be angry at those who have more…and vote to take it away from them and pass it around! And as da ThRONe says above…the players are seen as rich, the owners are hardly seen at all. Next, there are a few here who do not like black men making so much AND then trying to control the game. I know this sounds awful, but there is a deep ill feeling for blacks still today. It will never end any more than any deep rooted need for a person to hate another because of some self-doubt or weakness. The need to hate others is never ending. I still get asshole remarks from people as if I am supposed to understand their narrow-mindedness. I always am stunned by how deep this still is embedded in so many. That fight will never end any more than remarks by men about women, or women about men. Catholics about …oh, whatever…just fill in the lines with any group. Never does a day go by when some very well educated guy says something so awful and painful I want to smack them. And the NBA is seen as a black league. Just look at all photo ops from the negotiations. It looks like black players vs white owners. However awful it sounds...there are a great many who harbor nasty thoughts on this. And still there is the bad feeling gotten from the message the union broadcast with its demands. Look, it is NOT complicated for the average American to hear that players want more than 50 percent of the cut and then get angry about it. The American average Joe has never felt that the hired help run the house. They simply do not think the players should take more than the owners. We may go to Sea World to see the whales, or the zoo to see animals from around the world...they are the stars...but they should NOT get the largest cut of the ticket take. This is how Americans feel. Simple.

random nba fan
random nba fan

Exactly da ThRONe. Fans know and see the players and have no idea who any of these owners are. The owners are completely faceless to the fans. It is always much easier to place the blame on someone who you can see and are familiar than on someone who you know absolutely nothing about and rarely if ever see.

da ThRONe
da ThRONe

That's because most people can see the players, and they see the players as waste and ungrateful. For most fans (especially casual fans) the owners are faceless. Easy to hate the devil you know.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes

If one takes the poll as a true measure of thoughtful analysis carried out by the public, then most of them place the blame across the board or are saying "I don't know". If one takes the poll as a bad measure of thoughtful analysis carried out by the public, then most of them place the blame across the board or are saying "I don't know". If one takes the poll to be a way to express your hopes about an outcome or to vent your frustrations, then most of them place the blame across the board or are saying "I don't know". Remember when they got the ransom note in "Who's Harry Crumb?" "We find that crazy typrewriter, we'll find our kidnapper." I have just one question: Who spent the money? If we find those checkstubs, then we find the seasonkiller. Simple as that.