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Scandals aren’t keeping Americans from watching football: Poll

So much for all the criticism the National Football League has received over the recent reports of domestic violence by some of its players. Nearly 90% of Americans and football fans say it hasn’t changed their pro-football viewing habits.

That’s the result from an exclusive NBC News/Marist poll, which also finds that fewer than a third of respondents believe that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should resign from his job.

Still, a majority of Americans – including nearly six in 10 self-described football fans – say they disapprove of the way the NFL has handled the domestic-violence allegations.

The poll comes after a series of damaging stories for the NFL, which began with new video of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking out his now-wife in an Atlantic City elevator. The NFL had suspended Rice for two games due to the incident.

But the Ravens later released the All-Pro running back after the video became public.

Since then, other allegations of domestic violence by NFL players has surfaced, including Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson, who was indicted for beating his 4-year-old son with a tree branch to punish him, and Arizona Cardinals player Jonathan Dwyer, who was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife.

The NBC/Marist poll shows that 53% of Americans and 57% of football fans disapprove of the way the NFL has handled the recent reports of domestic violence.

Interestingly, the survey finds that men are more disapproving of the NFL (55% say so) than women (50%).

Despite the criticism, fewer than a third of Americans – 29% – believe Commissioner Roger Goodell should be forced to step down from his job.

And a whopping 86% percent of fans say the domestic-violence news hasn’t changed the amount of pro football they watch. That’s compared will 11% of fans who say they’re less likely to watch, and 3% who are more likely to watch.

Regarding the indictment of Peterson, who has been barred from all team activities until his legal case is resolved, 60% of Americans say it is wrong for parents to discipline their children by striking them with a paddle, switch or belt.

Just 34% believe that kind of corporal punishment by parents is right. But that number jumps to 51% among respondents from the South.

The NBC/Marist poll was conducted Sept. 16-17 of 606 adults (which has a margin of error of plus-minus 4.0 percentage points) and 426 football fans (plus-minus 4.7 percentage points).