Cincinnati Bengals Have the Most LGBTQ-Friendly Fanbase, Report Says

But there's still lots of room for improvement throughout the NFL.

click to enlarge Do NFL fans truly support the LGBTQ+ community? - Photo: Tim Bieler
Photo: Tim Bieler
Do NFL fans truly support the LGBTQ+ community?

Are football fans in Cincinnati truly welcoming to all, even as the Bengals head to the AFC Championship? One new report says yes.

A study conducted by ticket seller TickPick shows that the Cincinnati Bengals fanbase is the most supportive of LGBTQ+ folks out of the NFL's 32 franchises.

To determine that Cincinnati has the most LGBTQ-friendly fanbase, TickPick analyzed 6,705 fan posts and comments online between 2020 and 2021 to develop a "positivity score."

In that time, Bengals fans earned a 60%, meaning 3/5 of all fan-based posts that TickPick analyzed were positive. Jacksonville Jaguars fans came in second with 58.3%, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans had 55.3%.

The most hostile fans to LGBTQ+ folks? Those who root for the Los Angeles Rams, scoring just 29.4% positivity.

Generally speaking, online NFL fandom is still pretty hostile and not aligned with current national attitudes about the LGBTQ+ community.

"The data reveals that most fandoms generally do not speak favorably about LGBTQ+ issues in online spaces. Only the top six teams in this dataset — so nearly 19% of all NFL fandoms — have positivity scores above 50%," TickPick says.

Nationally, 70% of the U.S. population supports same-sex marriage — a new high — according to a Gallup poll from last June. And in June 2020, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that nine of 10 U.S. adults say "it should be illegal for employers to fire or refuse to hire people because they are lesbian, gay, or bisexual or transgender" and nearly seven of 10 adults support "laws that ban discrimination based on whether a person is lesbian, gay, or bisexual or transgender."

In TickPick's own survey, 61% of respondents said that the NFL needs to be more inclusive or allow LGBTQ+ players to be more visible; 26% rejected that idea, and 13% were unsure.

Read TickPick's full extensive study of professional sports leagues and LGBTQ+ issues.

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