Blacks more likely to feel Bonds investigations unfair than whites

More than half of blacks surveyed in an ESPN/Seton Hall poll on Barry Bonds think baseball and the federal government were unfair in its probe of the all-time home run king and think Bonds' record should remain asterisk-free.

Those numbers are significantly higher than whites, who were asked the same questions in the survey of 631 people.

Only 26.3 percent of whites said Major League Baseball was unfair in his probe of past abuses, while 52.5 percent of blacks felt that way. Only 25.7 percent of whites felt the government was unfair in its probe, compared to 54.5 percent of blacks. And 34.8 percent of whites felt Bonds' record should not be marked with an asterisk or stricken from the record book; 50.4 percent of blacks felt that way.

The survey included 311 women and 320 men. Three-quarters of the respondents were white, with 12.7 percent of those surveyed identifying themselves as black. More than 75 percent of the respondents considered themselves sports fans.

Both blacks and whites overwhelmingly believe that Bonds knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs (63.5 percent of blacks; 77.9 percent of whites).

Among other findings:

• Nearly 60 percent of whites think Bonds should be banned from the Hall of Fame if he's found guilty in federal court, while 44 percent of blacks felt that way.

• If found guilty, 45 percent of blacks feel Bonds should serve time in jail, compared to 34.3 percent of whites.

• Blacks and whites both listed the home run record as being the main reason for the attention on Bonds in the MLB and federal probes. However, a little more than 20 percent of blacks felt race was the main issue -- the second-biggest reason listed. Only 5.7 percent of whites felt race was the main issue -- the lowest category among white respondents.