Americans still prefer football

Gallup poll reports 37 percent favor it over other sports

Despite the onslaught of criticism leveed against professional football lately, it still remains Americans’ favorite sport to watch. Research-based company Gallup surveyed 1,049 adults in December and found that, though it’s a clear favorite, football has declined in popularity, from 43 percent in 2007 to 37 percent in 2017. This is likely related to three factors, according to Gallup: studies documenting the toll of concussions, NFL player domestic assault allegations and protests of police brutality started by NFL players in 2016, which continue to draw criticism from President Donald Trump and conservative politicians. Here are some of the poll’s other findings:

• Football has been the favorite sport since 1972. In 2017, 37 percent preferred the sport, compared to 11 percent favoring basketball, 9 percent baseball and 7 percent soccer.

• Men favor football more than women, at 42 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

• Political moderates most prefer watching football, at 41 percent, while liberals favor it the least, at 28 percent, and 38 percent of conservatives choose football over other sports.

• Those aged 35 to 54 like to watch football the most, at 40 percent. The youngest age group, 18 to 34, are those least likely to favor the sport, at 30 percent. Thirty-nine percent of those 55 and older favor football.