David Banks via Getty Images

David Banks via Getty Images

Fewer than one in three Americans believes that college football players should have the right to form a labor union, even though most are highly sympathetic to the grievances aired by pro-union athletes, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll shows.

Last month, football players at Northwestern University announced that they had filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency that enforces labor law on unions and employers. If the board allows the election to proceed, the players could vote to establish the first labor union in college athletics.

The new poll finds that 48 percent of Americans think college athletes should not be allowed to form unions to bargain over medical coverage and the terms of their scholarships, as the Northwestern players wish to do, while only 30 percent of Americans said they should be allowed to do so.

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