Last week, professional athletes boycotted scheduled games to draw attention to racial injustice and police misconduct – sparked by the Jacob Blake Shooting in Kenosha Wisconsin. First round playoffs games in the NBA, regular season WNBA, some baseball games and MLS soccer were all boycotted.
The graph below highlights the politics of sports fans. On the vertical axis, the propensity of fans to turnout and vote. On the horizontal axis, the partisan leanings of sports fans. The size of the circles represent the relative proportions of fans following these sports.
Let’s look at the NFL. American Football is the largest fan base, skews slightly Republican and exhibits modestly high turnout levels. Now, consider the NBA. A relatively large fan base, skews Democrat and falls just short of average turnout levels.
The MLS is a comparatively smaller fan base. And, fans are significantly less likely to turnout than other major sports. Finally, the WNBA. Those that follow the league skew strongly Democrat and just above the voter turnout midpoint.
Take a good look. Pick out your favorite sport, consider the politics of the day and the politics within the sport. This graph helps you put those pieces together.