One-third of Americans say they watch less professional sports because of the constant social justice messaging from players, leagues, and teams, according to a new poll.
A YouGov/Yahoo News survey found that 34% of respondents said they are less involved with pro sports due to lectures about racial justice from sports figures.
Only 11% said they watch sports more frequently.
About 56% of respondents said they watch the same among of pro sports as they did before the Black Lives Matter movement surged last summer.
This poll confirms another trend: television ratings for all major college and pro sports have been down this past year.
Experts attribute this to the altered game schedules due to the coronavirus pandemic and the focus on the 2020 presidential election.
Because of his outspoken support of BLM, Sports Illustrated dubbed James one of its “Activist Athlete” 2020 Sportspersons of the Year.
“As we’re all painfully aware, 2020 was a year to try the patience of even the most positive among us,” the outlet wrote. “The [coronavirus] has now claimed more than 275,000 American lives. The Memorial Day killing of George Floyd set off nationwide protests against police brutality and racial inequality. An ugly presidential election further divided a deeply partisan nation.”
Presenting the #Sportsperson of the Year: The Activist Athlete.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 6, 2020
The leagues also embraced the Black Lives Matter movement.
The NBA even painted the “Black Lives Matter” logo on its courts.
First look at the NBA arena inside the bubble:
• Black Lives Matter written on the court
• Socially distanced bench using spaced out chairs
• Plexiglass in front of the announcer’s booth
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 21, 2020