- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Do politics and other complicated matters belong in sports? Maybe not.

A major national poll from CBS reveals that only 26 percent of the nation is “comfortable” witnessing or participating in discussions about politics, race or religion come up in the middle of a sports broadcast — or during those splashy awards shows where film and TV stars often speak out for personal causes.

The wide-ranging CBS “Nation Tracker” poll found that only 16 percent of Republicans, 27 percent of independents and 38 percent of Democrats are at ease when sports, entertainment and politics are tumbled together with “complex issues.”

Americans, in fact, are more comfortable encountering such discussions in a church setting.

The poll found that almost a third — 32 percent — said they were OK when political, racial and faith-related topics come up in a house of worship — six percentage points higher than in a sports or awards show setting. The partisan breakdown: 29 percent of Republicans, 32 percent of independents and 37 percent of Democrats agreed.

Where are Americans most comfortable with these subjects? Exactly two-thirds overall say they belong on TV news shows — and the percentages were about the same for all three political persuasions. Another 65 percent said talk of politics, race and faith is fine at the dinner table as well; 70 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of independents and even 64 percent of Democrats agreed.

The public is a little more leery when it comes to social media: 53 percent were comfortable with these discussions on Twitter and Facebook; that includes 51 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and 60 percent of Democrats.

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