Americans Turn ‘Thumbs Down’ on Professional Sports Industry

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Americans’ views of the sports industry take a nosedive, according to Gallup

While the industry earned a +20 “net-positive” in Y 2019, the number sank to -10 this year.

Americans’ opinion of the sports industry has declined dramatically over the last year, plunging the sector deep into negative territory, according to a new Gallup poll.

The sports industry’s positive score in Y 2019 sat at 45%, but fell by 33% to just 30% in Y 2020. Similarly, while 25% of fans held a negative view in Y 2019, that number shot up to 40% in Y 2020.

The stark contrast is evident when examining the change in the net-positive scores, which are calculated by combining the positive and negative score into a single number. While the industry earned a +20 net-positive in Y 2019, the number sank to -10 net-positive this year.

Among political groups the largest decline in net-positive views came from Republicans, as the figure tumbled from +11 in 2019 to -35 in 2020. Independents’ views had a steep drop from +26 last year to -10 this year. Democrats’ views dropped slightly from a +16 net-positive in 2019 to +11 in 2020.

Among both White and non-White Americans, the net-positive views of the sports industry have taken a nosedive. The +51 net-positive view held by non-Whites in Y 2019 shrank to just +16 this year. The +4 net-positive view of Whites in 2019 fell to -22 this year.

Regular sports competitions have faced significant interruptions this year amid the global coronavirus chaos. Additionally, the Black Lives Matter movement has been part of the public conversation, including in sports.

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