Public Enemy No. 1: The Least-Liked Sports Teams in the U.S.

Public Enemy No. 1: The Least-Liked Sports Teams in the U.S. article feature image

Whether you’re a ride-or-die NFL fan, the MLB is more your thing, or you just can’t get enough of ice hockey (or maybe you equally love all three!), there are specific teams you support… and ones you just love to hate.

With football, basketball, baseball, hockey and soccer all incredibly popular across the U.S., we wanted to see which teams were viewed the most negatively online.

Using Linkfluence, we accessed social listening data to analyze negative sentiment across all teams from the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS leagues between July 2020 – July 2021 to discover which teams are viewed the most negatively online, at least by rate of negative posts.

Has your favorite team found themselves on the social media hate list? Read on to find out…

The Las Vegas Raiders are the least-liked sports team in the U.S.

No one wants to be in first place, but unfortunately the Las Vegas Raiders have made the top of the list. The football team has a negative sentiment of 14.2% — nearly 5% higher than the team in second place, the NHL’s Dallas Stars.

Five of the 10 teams with the most negative sentiment are all from the NHL – with the Arizona Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, and the Buffalo Sabres joining the Dallas Stars in the top-10.

In fact, with 17 NHL teams featured on our list, this league has the most negative sentiment. In contrast, just nine NFL teams appear in the top-50, and no MLB teams, which all have a very low negative sentiment rates online.

But if we break it down into the major leagues, which teams are viewed the least positively overall? See if you can spot your favorites below…

The 10 NFL teams with the highest negative sentiment

Out of all 32 teams, the Las Vegas Raiders are the most negatively-viewed NFL team online, with 14.2% posts mentioning them coming in as negative. In second place with nearly 50% less negative sentiment are the Chicago Bears; the Denver Broncos are not far behind, with 7.96% of all posts about them negative.

Rounding out the top-five for the NFL teams with the most negative sentiment are two Texas teams: the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys.

The 10 NBA teams with the highest negative sentiment

Moving onto basketball, it’s the Philadelphia 76ers that are viewed the most negatively online, with 9.18% of all posts about them rated as negative. In second and third place are the Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic.

The Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets round out the top-five most negatively-viewed teams in the NBA, with 7.44% and 7.4% negative sentiment scores, respectively.

The 10 MLB teams with the highest negative sentiment

Made up of 30 teams in total, it’s the Washington Nationals that take the crown as the team with the highest negative sentiment online at 5.69% — which may be the highest in the MLB, but is lower than the rest of all other major leagues.

The New York Yankees (arguably the richest team in the MLB) and Texas Rangers aren’t far behind, with both of their negative sentiments above 5% too.

Rounding off the top-five are the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox, although with negative sentiment at less than 5%, there isn’t that much bad publicity about them on social media.

The 10 NHL teams with the highest negative sentiment

Looking at the National Hockey League, the Dallas Stars have the highest percentage of negative sentiment of all hockey teams at 9.86% — although the Arizona Coyotes aren’t far behind.

In third position are the Toronto Maple Leafs – perhaps the best-known hockey team in all of Canada – followed by the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres, all which scored negative sentiments higher than 8%.

The 10 MLS teams with the highest negative sentiment

Finally, looking at the MLS, the team with the most negative conversations about them online is CF Montreal – the only Canadian team across all five leagues to come out on top. The LA Galaxy are close behind, with just 0.14% difference between them.

Minnesota United FC has a negative sentiment of 7.01% online, making them the third-highest, with Atlanta United FC and Chicago Fire FC rounding out the top-five.

Do you agree with the list, or are you outraged that your favorite teams have a high negative sentiment online? Let us know, or alternatively, take a look at betting odds and expert picks for your favorite sports.

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