Only 32 percent of NFL fans in a nationwide survey believe commissioner Roger Goodell should lose his job after his handling of recent domestic violence cases.
A new Associated Press-GfK Poll released Wednesday also showed those fans think Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson should only be allowed to play again if he is found not guilty of felony child abuse.
For Goodell, 66 percent said he shouldn’t lose his job.
Goodell set off a social media firestorm when he initially suspended former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games after he was charged with assaulting his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City casino elevator.
After a second video of Rice punching and knocking out Janay Rice was released publicly, Goodell suspended him indefinitely. Rice was released earlier that day by the Ravens.
Goodell addressed domestic violence issues and the NFL Personal Conduct Policy during a Sept. 19 news conference in New York.
With his integrity in question, and possibly his job as commissioner on the line, Goodell said “he got it wrong” when it came to the Rice incident. He promised he “will get it right” going forward.
The AP-GfK Poll showed strong support for keeping Rice off the field. Forty-three percent of fans said Rice should never be allowed to play again. Just 7 percent said he should be able to play now, with 49 percent saying he should be permitted to return after missing more time.
Opinions differed by gender and race. Slightly more than half of women said Rice should never be allowed to play again, compared with 37 percent of men. Just 19 percent of black fans said he should receive a permanent ban, while 46 percent of white fans support that, according to the poll.
Fifty-four percent of fans said Peterson, who is currently on paid leave while he faces child abuse charges in Texas, should be allowed to play again if he is found not guilty. Another 29 percent said he should be able to return regardless of the case’s outcome. Only 15 percent said he should never play again.