UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
SI Wire

Study shows New York the NFL market most receptive to Michael Sam

Former Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam recently competed at the NFL Combine. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images Former Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam recently competed at the NFL Combine. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

A new study from Emory University demonstrates that New York is the NFL market most accommodating on Twitter toward gay NFL prospect Michael Sam, while Nashville is the least receptive.

The study analyzed tweets from all 31 NFL markets (both the Jets and Giants are included in the New York market) to determine how various NFL fan bases felt about Sam's arrival in professional football. From the study's authors:

We were interested in looking at how the fans in NFL cities feel about Michael Sam.  In order to do this, we collected all tweets mentioning “Michael Sam” in the 31 NFL markets for the past 2 days (2/9 morning – 2/11 morning).  The tweets were sorted by market, and analyzed for positive, negative, or neutral sentiment.  Looking at the ratio of positive, negative, and neutral tweets allowed us to compare Twitter sentiment for Michael Sam across NFL Markets.

Following New York is St. Louis, perhaps unsurprisingly as Sam played college football at Missouri, whose Columbia campus is roughly a two-hour drive from St. Louis. Kansas City, also geographically close to Sam's alma mater, is ranked No. 7. The top ten most receptive cities are below:

  1. New York
  2. St. Louis
  3. Chicago
  4. San Francisco
  5. Boston
  6. Kansas City
  7. Washington
  8. Philadelphia
  9. Tampa
  10. Seattle

FARRAR: Sam owns his moment at the combine

The five least receptive NFL markets, according to the study, are Nashville, Oakland, Green Bay, Pittsburgh and San Diego.

The study obviously cannot present a complete picture as fan sentiment cannot be measured scientifically, particularly in terms of tweets. Also, fans often do not live within the team's official market; Green Bay Packers fans, for example, are widespread throughout the country. However, the study gives some idea of the NFL markets that would potentially be most welcoming toward Sam when he officially joins a team.

Sam, the reigning SEC defensive player of the year, is expected to become the first openly gay player in NFL history. After coming out to his Missouri teammates prior to the 2013 season, the defensive lineman finished the year with 11.5 sacks and helped the Tigers finish the year 12-2, including a victory in the Cotton Bowl.

h/t Outsports

BANKS: Michael Sam hopes to get past 'gay' label and just play football

More SI Wire

Close

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager.
  4. Locate your current Sports Illustrated bookmark, click the Organize menu, then select Edit. You can now easily update the web address of your Sports Illustrated bookmark.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Click the Safari bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. This will open the Bookmarks Bar. In the Bookmarks Bar, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Address field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click the Firefox bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Show All Bookmarks.
  3. This will open the library window. In the Library window, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Location field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.
Don't Show This Again