Study Shows That Most Americans Don’t Think Pro Sports Increase Patriotism

A study conducted by the Ohio State University found that only 47% of U.S citizens believed that sports increased patriotism. The survey researchers carried out between 2018 and 2019 found that only 34% believe pro sports enhanced respect for the military. Another 33% believed pro sorts could teach people about being American.

According to the associate professor of sociology and lead study author at the Ohio State University, Chris Knoester, most Americans have never noticed the sports messages and imagery in sports.

How researchers conducted the poll

The researchers gathered data from 3993 Americans in 50 states. They wanted to determine what percentage recognized the patriotic messages and images in sports. The researchers found that Americans have seen these images so often that they don’t notice them anymore.

Evan Davis, a study co-author and an assistant professor of sports management at St. John Fisher College, Rochester, New York, states that Americans are used to seeing military flyovers, flags, and singing the national anthem that they don’t think of its significance. Nevertheless,  patriotism is a crucial part of sports.

Opinions differed based on demographics

In addition, some demographics agreed that patriotism and sports went hand in hand. These included heterosexuals, Christians, and Republicans. However, Knoester pointed out that these demographics are more comfortable with themselves thus connected with their values due to their higher social standing.

Despite this, there were low-class demographics like high school-educated Americans, Latinos, and black that were likely to link sports to patriotism than college-educated and white Americans. Knoester explains that this could be due to sports providing equal opportunities to people in lower standing.

Volunteers who displayed dedication to sports were also more likely to agree that sports enhance patriotism and respect for the military. The researchers also believe that these fans would hold such beliefs subconsciously.

Knoester concludes that many Americans do not believe that there is a link between sports and patriotism. However, there is evidence that proves that sports improve nationalism. He adds that the team should consist more research on the patriotic messaged relayed in sports, their impact and why people promote them.

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