Date of Publication

Spring 4-26-2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Project

Professor's Name

Katharine Burakowski


This research was conducted to determine to what extent National Football League fans want player safety rules in the game of football. The NFL received backlash from not only a tremendous amount of fans but players as well. It was essential for the NFL to determine what a happy medium was in order to keep the players safe while they played the game of football, but also the physicality was a large part of the game that the fans loved. The NFL player safety rules reduced the amount of injuries that occurred, but fans and players believed that the rules took too much away from the game.

A survey was created that was aimed to collect a variety of ages, races, and locations that represented the whole fan spectrum of the NFL. Since the survey was posted on reddit, the sampling method used was key informant technique. Questions ranged from simple demographics, commitment of fandom, and also the support of the player safety rules. Duration and commitment of fandom gauged the level of fandom that determined if level of fandom played into the support of the rules.

Ultimately, each and every fan made a decision regarding whether they cared more about the quality and experience of watching the game or the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the NFL players. A majority of the sample supported the NFL Player Safety Rules either most of the time or always. This particular variable showed that even though a good amount of participants experienced a worse experience viewing the game, a majority of the sample still supported the safety rules within the game.

This was essential to the NFL due to knowing the fan base. Fans were essential to the league and without a great amount of fans, there was no league. The knowledge of what turned fans away from the league was crucial. There were many variables that played into why fans were drawn to the league or pushed away. Knowing who the fans were and what they thought of the league was essential to the success of the NFL.