11/23: Helmet-to-Helmet Hits: Football Fans Define the Penalty

The NFL has been cracking down on players who commit illegal helmet-to-helmet hits with fines and suspensions.  But, what do football fans think the punishment should be for this type of player conduct?  More than one-fifth — 27% — believe these players should be, both, fined and suspended.  An additional 31% say they should be only fined while 22% believe they should just be suspended.  One-fifth — 20% — believe neither punishment should be used.



Younger football fans are more tolerant of helmet-to-helmet hits. 27% of those younger than 30 years old don’t think any punishment should be imposed compared with 14% of fans 60 and older.

There is also a gender gap on this question. More men — 26% — compared with women — 11% — don’t think players should be penalized at all for these hard hits.

As for the number of U.S. residents who are professional football fans, 68% of residents report they watch the sport, at least, a little. There has been no change on this question since Marist’s October survey.

Table: Punishment for Helmet-to-Helmet Hits
Table: Professional Football Fans

Marist Poll Methodology

Related Story:
Interview: Verne Lundquist Discusses Hard Hits on the Gridiron