What Do You Think of Baseball’s Steriod Scandal? [AUDIO]
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably heard about Major League Baseball’s (MLB) steroid and performance enhancing drug scandal. On Monday, 13 players were suspended and the Yankees’ Alex Rodriquez is the only one appealing.
A new national poll released by Monmouth University shows Americans support a wide range of sanctions for repeat offenders, but most stop short of favoring the ultimate punishment.
The poll asked about public support of six possible sanctions for repeat steroid users. Exactly three in four support banning them for an entire season. Seven in 10 also say that fining the player a full season’s salary or imposing a shorter ban of 50 games would be acceptable.
Just over six in 10 support erasing any records a player set while using steroids, and banning the player from the Hall of Fame.
There is some compassion. Only one in three Americans would support a lifetime playing ban for a player who was found to have used steroids more than once.
More than eight in 10 are aware of the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs by professional baseball players. Among this group, only 40 percent think that expanded testing and increased penalties Major League Baseball instituted in 2005 have been effective. Just under half say they have not been effective in reducing steroid use among players.
Only 31 percent of those following the news believe steroid use has gone down since new screening procedures and sanctions were put in place eight years ago. Another 40 percent say steroid use is about the same as it was, and 18 percent think steroid use has actually increased despite the efforts made.
“There is some concern that a continuing steroid scandal could erode the national pastime’s fan base despite Major League Baseball’s best efforts,” said Patrick Murray, poll director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Almost eight in 10 Americans who are aware of the steroid news say MLB is taking this issue seriously. Only four percent say it is not at all serious about the problem. Despite the controversy, a majority of Americans still hold a positive view of Major League Baseball. Less than one in four have a negative view.
What would you think if your favorite player on your favorite team was exposed as a repeat offender? As it turns out, most Americans are forgiving. Twenty-eight percent said they would watch that team less often than they do now. Sixty-five percent would continue to watch the same number of games as they do now. Oddly, two percent actually admit they’d be inclined to watch more games if a steroid scandal hit their favorite team.
This poll was conducted after the suspension of Milwaukee Brewer player and former National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Braun, but before the most recent sanctions against Rodriguez and other players were announced.
The survey was conducted by telephone with 1,012 adults from July 25 to 30, 2013. The sample has a margin of error of + 3.1 percent.