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ESPN Poll Finds Baseball Players Oppose Marriage Equality, Abortion


With athletes like The Minnesota Vikings' Chris Kluwe, The Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash and even entire teams like the San Francisco 49ers coming out for LGBT equality, ESPN magazine decided to include a gay marriage question in a recent poll of professionals from all four major U.S. sports, baseball, basketball, football and hockey.

The findings show that a majority, 59.3%, of the 62 anonymous players asked support same-sex marriage, most of whom are in the National Hockey League. A majority of baseball and basketball players, however, voted no.

On a related "culture wars" note, baseball players are the only group in which a majority said they are pro-life.


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  1. I'm not surprised really. Regarding marriage equality, the majority of Canadian and non-US players in the NHL (many coming from countries where gay marriage is legal) makes their support of same sex marriage ring true. Unfortunately, MLB has gone looking for recruits in Latin America and the Caribbean, overwhelmingly Catholic and hence both anti-gay and "pro-life",

    Posted by: Jumper | Oct 13, 2012 12:10:04 PM

  2. Is it any wonder that these guys are pro-choice. They're so busy knocking up their girlfriends, the have an abortionist on speed dial.
    As far as marriage equality the gap is narrowing, its almost 50/50.

    Posted by: I wont grow up | Oct 13, 2012 12:10:38 PM

  3. Well, consider the fact that MLB and NBA have more African-American and Latino players, it's really no surprise that they are slightly biased on marriage equality.

    NHL is basically made up of Canadians or people close to the Canadian border. So no surprise there either.

    Posted by: B! | Oct 13, 2012 12:14:34 PM

  4. they likely also oppose the criminalization of spousal-rape, so there.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Oct 13, 2012 12:14:40 PM

  5. At B! Your racism is showing! Only 8% of Baseball players (MLB) are black (63% are white)! Yes the NBA is overwhelmingly black, but guess what!? Almost 70% of NFL players are also black! Did I just blow your mind!? You obviously know nothing about sports, yet you chose to inject your racist assumptions into this story!

    Posted by: Quest | Oct 13, 2012 12:23:23 PM

  6. 62 anonymous players? Mostly from the NHL?

    What kind of valid statistical analysis can be done with such a sample?

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Oct 13, 2012 12:24:33 PM

  7. Before this thread becomes yet another us vs them war, it doesn't seem like the poll has any validity whatsoever. They had 62 respondents, or about 12 per sport. It's not clear whether they selected 62 or only 62 replied out of a much larger number asked, but either way there's no way twelve people can speak for an entire sport.

    Posted by: Brian | Oct 13, 2012 12:28:13 PM

  8. Folks are often surprised at how few people respond to polls. It's actually pretty normal for polls, and the results are usually fairly representative.

    Posted by: MIke B. | Oct 13, 2012 12:36:28 PM

  9. Do you people even know how polling works? Less than a thousand people are regularly polled to represent the 150 million Americans of voting 62 people to represent professional athletes is no big surprise!

    Posted by: Quest | Oct 13, 2012 12:40:58 PM

  10. 92.3% of NHL players are pro equal marriage? That's quite remarkable!

    Posted by: danswon | Oct 13, 2012 12:43:32 PM

  11. "How Shocking!" Of course, they are pro-life. They certainly don't want those who they knocked up to go public and say, "Hey, people, so and so knocked me up and wanted me to abort." Talk about bad publicity.

    Posted by: Carl | Oct 13, 2012 12:48:24 PM

  12. Yes, Mike B. and Quest, I know. But there's a *big* difference between a well-selected small group of the overly-studied American population and this sample of the largely understudied major leaguers.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Oct 13, 2012 12:50:41 PM

  13. Few people respond to polls, but usually 1000 people is usually considered a good representative sample size. This poll is no where near that number.

    Going by this, I don't think the opinions of 12 people accurately reflect the opinions of everyone in their sport.

    Posted by: Cadence | Oct 13, 2012 12:52:48 PM

  14. These numbers overall are better than I expected. No surprise MLB is most conservative due to the large number of southern whites and latin players. No surprise that the NHL is best due to Canadians and Europeans, but even 92-8 is better than expected.

    Posted by: Ken | Oct 13, 2012 12:53:58 PM

  15. Why yes I do, Quest, and you obviously don't. Small population surveys require a much larger percentage of the population to be surveyed to have anything like the degree of confidence in large population surveys. At the levels we're talking about here, for example around 2,000 NFL players, you'd need hundreds of players surveyed. The analogy with national polls of likely voters simply doesn't hold. The whole point of surveying is to sample accurately a population so large that it's not practical to survey them. With small populations, either ask everyone, or at least a substantial chunk of them, or don't bother.

    Posted by: Brian | Oct 13, 2012 12:56:46 PM

  16. Consider also that, generally speaking, MLB players often attend no college. They are drafted directly out of high school and spend several years with small town minor league teams before making it to the pros.

    Posted by: HAZman | Oct 13, 2012 1:05:21 PM

  17. I knew hockey was the best sport around

    wondering about soccer?

    Posted by: io.caprone | Oct 13, 2012 1:14:26 PM

  18. A poll of 12 people? Andrew--can you just take this article down?

    Posted by: JeffNYC | Oct 13, 2012 1:20:06 PM

  19. The vast majority of non-Canadian/U.S. hockey players come from Eastern Europe (Russia and her former satellites)...countries not exactly known for their pro-gay reputations...

    Posted by: Quest | Oct 13, 2012 1:23:23 PM

  20. Might be interesting to see the results of a poll of NASCAR drivers regarding these two issues.

    Then again, maybe not...

    Posted by: Chuck | Oct 13, 2012 1:26:26 PM

  21. The NHL numbers probably reflect the tireless efforts of the Burke family. If every league had a Brian Burke, the other leagues would probably look a little more like the NHL.

    Posted by: Rawn | Oct 13, 2012 1:41:42 PM

  22. I'm not surprised that hockey players to be the least homophobic, and baseball players the most socially conservative. But the number they got suggests something slightly amiss. Where are the likely anti-gay eastern European? A national election poll has ways to insure that the 1000 _who agree to respond_ are representative. I don't know how ESPN could be sure they were getting a random sample. People who make millions a year have a tendency to think they have better things to do with their time.

    But assuming the results are truly representative, I wonder if there's an odd sociological truth at work. Hockey is no doubt the most violent of these sports. Are men who can "prove" their masculinity in such a violent and confrontational (I think that's what separates it from football) sport less anxious to "prove" their masculinity by disdaining gays? Are most military gay bashers actually members of the quartermaster corp? Just wondering aloud.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Oct 13, 2012 1:59:00 PM

  23. Major league baseball and football are infested with evangelicals, which is probably why a higher percentage of their players are more in opposition to marriage equality or a woman's right to choose.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Oct 13, 2012 1:59:32 PM

  24. Oops...meant "tend to be".

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Oct 13, 2012 2:00:47 PM

  25. as others have said, using n=62 gives us a pretty much worthless poll.

    Posted by: MAJeff | Oct 13, 2012 2:05:06 PM

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