Are athletics apolitical? Majority of the Americans have turned their attention towards sports as a diversion from their countries dabbling political situations. So, does that mean they are politically neutral?
The answer is my friend, NO. A recent study from Oxford Academics suggests a direct relation between intense sports fanatics and their support towards conservative ideology. Sports worshippers are positively allied with support for the U.S. military as both Democrats and Republican are likely to follow sports closely said Michael Serazio of Boston College.
The study published in Public Opinion Quarterly, further established that this relativity continued irrespective of the demographic variations, inclusive of the partisan leanings of the participants’. The findings further suggest that sports culture may highlight the causes and remedies of our thronging social problems.
In November 2016, 1,051 participants completed an online survey wherein, they were asked some questions about what type of sports they followed and how closely. They were asked if they followed sophomoric or professional sports. For every sport they followed, they were asked how frequently they listened or watched games, and if they engaged in fan-related behaviors like wearing team clothing.
They were also asked certain questions regarding conventional gender roles, political views, their political views, and about the factors that they considered important to improvise themselves financially, which reflected their mindset.
Overall, 65% of women and 81% of men followed at least one sports team. The researchers reported football being the most popular sport with 56% fandom of the total population, succeeded by baseball (38%), and basketball (26%).
Basketball fans are more likely to be lean Democratic compared to those who do not follow sports. On a general note, spectator sports attract people from across the political spectrum almost similarly.
When researchers compared real enthusiasts with casual fans, ideological differentiations emerged. The researchers also associated fan intensity with the support for armed forces and the belief that secret of economic success lies in the individual effort.
Extracting out effects and causes from these outcomes is tricky. Serazio and Thorson notice that both sports announcers, as well as professional athletes, habitually deliver an honest narration in which winning is solely a function of effort. This strengthens an essential assumption of conservative thought: that we all are surviving in a just system where talent and determination inevitably succeeds. Additionally, the relation between military strength and lionizing physical strength is obvious.
However, it is impractical to say whether these tacit messages influence people’s political views, or in other words, those who already possess a conservative attitude, are naturally drawn towards sports as a cultural diversion. Furthermore, the study presents evidence of the different ways in which ideology affects our taste and behavior.
According to the scientists, self-proclaimed conservatives are significantly more expected to protest the mixing of politics and sports. They presume that factually; the majority of the ideological challenges have resulted from left-leaning campaigners. For example, the National Football League players “taking a knee” the national anthem to gripe brutalité policière. The conservative nature of the intense fans is the main reason behind their agitation by player’s protests. Thus, the stadium sidelines will be the last place on the earth they will ever choose to be reminded of life’s uneven field.