74% of Americans oppose Russia’s anti-gay legislation, but an overwhelming majority are against a US boycott of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, a poll has found.
A Harris poll released today conducted with 2,577 adults in September showed 59% of them believe the US should still send a team to the 2014 Games, although 20% of those surveyed disagree and 21% are not sure.
However, opinion amongst LGBT Americans is almost evenly split. 42% of LGBT Americans support the US sending a team to the Games although 40% would not.
In August, President Barack Obama rejected calls for the United States to boycott the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, but said: “If Russia doesn’t have gay or lesbian athletes, it’ll probably make their team weaker.”
The president added: “I do not think it’s appropriate to boycott the Olympics.”
Among the poll’s other findings, 70% of Americans believe that coming out is easier when you are a female rather than a male pro athlete.
Overall, 81% of respondents believe that some sports is harder to come out in than others, with 31% citing the NFL as the toughest sport followed by others like professional boxing (22%) in second place and NASCAR (15%) in fourth.
But for LGBT Americans surveyed, 26% place NASCAR as the second toughest sport rather than boxing. LGBT Americans agree that NFL is considered the toughest sport to come out in.
Meanwhile, golf and tennis were thought to be the easiest sports environments to come out in with 34% of Americans selecting both sports.
In terms of reactions to gay sport stars like NBA player Jason Collins and WWE wrestler Darren Young, around two-thirds of Americans surveyed state that it “makes no difference” in how they see them now.