FanDuel - WFBC

September 29, 2003

Gimme that clicker: Ten sports Americans don't like very much. I'm sure the top three--dogfighting, pro wrestling, and bullfighting--are, to most Americans, not sports, so the list should probably start with pro boxing. After the bloodsports, though, come three entries for golf: the PGA tour, the PGA Senior Tour, and the LPGA tour. There's a freshman composition paper in there somewhere. (Full list inside.)

posted by jason streed to culture at 07:31 PM - 17 comments

Dogfighting (viewed unfavorably by 81.4% of respondents) Pro Wresting (55.7) Bullfighting (46.2) Pro boxing (31.3) PGA Tour (30.4) PGA Seniors (29.9) LPGA Tour (29.2) NASCAR (27.9) Major League Soccer (27.6) ATP Men's Tennis (26.5) NHL (25.4) Arena Football League (24.0) Indy Racing League (23.7) Women's College Basketball (22.2) Women's Pro Basketball (20.1) NBA (19.7) Major League Baseball (17.5)

posted by jason streed at 07:39 PM on September 29

If dog fighting is considered a sport, I think pole dancing should be considered one.

posted by jasonspaceman at 07:43 PM on September 29

As a white NBA fan, I'm disgusted to see my fellow Caucasians turn against the NBA in growing numbers. It feels to me like the sporting equivalent of "white flight" -- put too many black people someplace and we become uncomfortable. I wonder how well it's doing with the under-25 crowd. You'd think they would adopt the NBA before hockey or (especially) baseball.

posted by rcade at 09:25 PM on September 29

rcade: Obviously it has nothing to do with "white flight" as they are hating the "whitest" sports (NASCAR, hockey, golf, tennis) more than the "blackest" sport (NBA).

posted by grum@work at 10:07 PM on September 29

Hey, hey slow down rcade. I agree with grummy, white flight has nothing to do with the fact that I watched maybe 10 minutes of basketball all of last season. I think the NBA's biggest problem has been their continued marketing of individual superstars that aren't named Jordan. The big surprise to me is boxing. There is nothing as exciting to me as a good title fight. Maybe it's on there because of the hoops one has to jump through to actually see one (pay-per view, plus the fact that there are only a couple per year, and some of them turn out to be duds.)

posted by vito90 at 10:56 PM on September 29

MLS is gaining on tennis and arena football. Pretty soon, soccer will be the no. 10 most popular sport in the US. Or least hated. Progress!

posted by worldcup2002 at 11:30 PM on September 29

As a white NBA fan, I'm disgusted to see my fellow Caucasians turn against the NBA in growing numbers. I don't watch the NBA any more and it has nothing to do with how 'black' the sport has become. I do know this is an issue with you rcade, but your conclusion that it equates racism seems to always be an assumption to which you quickly jump. Sure, there are always going to be a certain racist segment of society that spurns sports in regard to the race of its participants, but there are other reasons. People like seeing people they can relate to. More black people are watching golf because of tiger woods. I don't blame them. Why would they want to watch an all white sport? Baseball is having trouble attracting black athletes and at the same time black viewership has decreased. The number of black participants in NASCAR and hockey is tiny, and so is the fan base. Black players are the huge majority in the NBA, and hugely popular in the black community. So am I to assume black people are racist in their viewing habits? In fact, it looks like the race of a sport is much more important in the black community than in the white. I don't see many black kids with Gretzky jerseys, but I see many Jordan jerseys on the backs of white kids. Its a complicated issue, and, imho, not near as black and white as calling out racism every time (no pun intended).

posted by justgary at 12:12 AM on September 30

Except for the first 3 and NASCAR, how can someone really hate a sport? How is the MLS or women's tennis affecting your QOL so much that you can't just not watch but have to actively hate it?

posted by gyc at 12:40 AM on September 30

Hating something that you don't understand is natural. Defining yourself by what you're not or what you don't understand makes life simpler. It's what makes countries great.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:12 AM on September 30

Did you read the article, folks? I'm not the one who brought race into it: Ten years ago, only 12.5 percent of white Americans had strong feelings against the NBA. In the poll this year, that soared to 21.1 percent of whites who hated or disliked the NBA. The number of black respondents who felt that way stayed virtually unchanged at under 3 percent. One out of five white sports fans is anti-NBA, compared to one in eight a decade ago. I think the racial composition of the sport (and its fan base) contributes to that, as does the media's frequent portrayal of some players as thugs -- a stereotype that seems to occur much more frequently with NBA players than any other pro sport. Whether it makes people comfortable or not to talk about, the race of players is undeniably a factor in sports viewership. A Carleton College study cited by the Village Voice found that each white player on an NBA team increases ratings by 0.54 of a point.

posted by rcade at 06:13 AM on September 30

I'd love to know how they assembled this list. Did they ask people to rate their favorites sports and then report the results in backwards order? Did they ask people, "which of these sports to you hate the most?" I can't believe that sports that most people don't pay attention to--the AFL or Indy--can be actively hated.

posted by Justin Slotman at 06:41 AM on September 30

People like seeing people they can relate to. More black people are watching golf because of tiger woods. I don't blame them. Why would they want to watch an all white sport? If the racial composition of a sport was created through decades in which minorities were explicitly excluded, there's a good reason not to watch. I can understand why they are slow to embrace golf or NASCAR. To me, that's a different animal than a race that's abandoning a sport in the face of an increasing number of minority participants, which appears to be happening with whites and the NBA. Perhaps it's strictly due to style of play issues, but I find it hard to believe the 10 percent drop -- in a decade that has featured Michael Jordan's final championships and a new Lakers dynasty -- is because of on-court quality. Also, if you're saying that race isn't an issue in sports viewership, doesn't the above comment undercut your point?

posted by rcade at 07:18 AM on September 30

I read the article rcade. My post was in regards to the article as well. If the racial composition of a sport was created through decades in which minorities were explicitly excluded, there's a good reason not to watch. I can understand why they are slow to embrace golf or NASCAR. Taking two examples and offering differing reasons doesn't negate the basic idea. Take any sport, any activity, that is all white or mostly white and add black players and I promise you the black fan base will go up. And though those sports certainly have checkered pasts, I doubt the reason a 10 year old african american kid turns the channel when a NASCAR race comes on has anything to do with the history of the sport. Add a black star to the starting field and the black fan base will go up, just as in the PGA. I find it hard to believe the 10 percent drop -- in a decade that has featured Michael Jordan's final championships and a new Lakers dynasty -- is because of on-court quality. I'm one of that 10 percent. I lived for basketball in the 80s and couldn't be more bored with it in the 90s. I was a huge Jordan fan when he was at NC but found watching title after title go to the bulls a bore. Also, if you're saying that race isn't an issue in sports viewership, doesn't the above comment undercut your point? I think race is a huge issue in sports viewership. I think racism is a much smaller issue. The more black the NBA becomes the less white fans will watch. I expect that trend to continue. Some of that decrease does have a racist aspect to it. Some of it has to do with the same reasons black people are not watching baseball. But instead of calling the lowering of black viewership in baseball racism MLB is trying to get baseball to the inner city in hope of more baseball players, and therefore, more black baseball fans. The same problem, but the answer to one is to call the fan racist and in the other to get them more involved. Let's just hold both sides to the same standard. I don't think that's too much to ask. A last example: I think the racial composition of the sport (and its fan base) contributes to that, as does the media's frequent portrayal of some players as thugs What we're getting at is that white people think of black players in the NBA as thugs and gangsters, which, on the other hand, is what appeals to many inner city youth. JEFFREY KAYE: Sports marketing expert David Carter says Major League Baseball's problem with young people, especially young African Americans, is the sport's old-school, conservative image. So black players/fans have a problem with baseball's conservative image, while white fans have a problem with basketball's wild/ganster image. Sounds like two sides of the same coin. Two sports, opposite marketing strategies/reputations, working on one segment of the population, while pushing away another.

posted by justgary at 04:06 PM on September 30

I fucking hate the Irish and their damned Water Polo! Oh God how I hate those Water Polo playing Micks! I'm so angry about the Irish and Water Polo!

posted by Samsonov14 at 04:16 PM on September 30

Sammy, I blame the Scandanavians and their damned Curling! Curling is the truly suckiest sport and those Scandanavians can go straight to hell with themselves!

posted by billsaysthis at 04:21 PM on September 30

(Of course I have no clue if curling is a particularly Scandanavian sport.)

posted by billsaysthis at 04:21 PM on September 30

Tell it Sammy!

posted by lilnemo at 04:22 PM on September 30

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