MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Football is the most popular sport in America, and its fans are the most passionate.
That may explain why the “Take a Knee” movement stirred such controversy last season.
The most tweeted moment and loudest cheer for President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address? His pointed call to stand for the national anthem.
The president stoked more political division among NFL fans over players who kneel during the national anthem.
But new research shows fans are much more bipartisan than we thought.
The website fivethirtyeight.com calculated political leanings of different sports.
It found the NBA is more popular in Democratic markets.
NASCAR and college football are more popular in Republican regions.
Right in the middle? You guessed it. The NFL is the most popular sports league, with the least partisan fan base.
NFL fans in general lean conservative or liberal based on how their region voted for President Trump.
But a Survey Monkey poll dug deeper, asking fans to identify not only teams, but political party.
Now we can tell you which NFL team fans are more liberal, and which ones are more conservative, including the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots in the Super Bowl this Sunday.
Fans of San Francisco, Detroit and the New York Giants identify more with Democrats.
Tampa Bay, Houston and Dallas fans identify more with Republicans.
Minnesota Vikings fans skew slightly more Democrat than average, but so do Green Bay Packer fans, who have more of a national fan base.
One surprise: New England Patriot fans are more Republican than average, despite their home base in deeply-Democratic Massachusetts.
And Philadelphia Eagles fans ranked seventh-most Democratic among the league’s 32 teams.
Here are the sources used in this Reality Check