Sports | November 9, 2021 12:36 pm

Americans Are Now Sticking to Reading About Sports Instead of Politics

It's a whole new ballgame for the national conversation in America

MLS fans in New Jersey wave the American flag during the national anthem
MLS fans in New Jersey wave the American flag during the national anthem.
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty

Following a tumultuous election year that took place during a deadly pandemic that has yet to subside and left many U.S. citizens fatigued from discussing hard news, it’s a whole new ballgame for the national conversation in America.

According to data from more than 1,400 news sites analyzed by online content recommendation company Taboola and reported on by Axios, Americans are searching for information about sports, particularly the NFL, instead of politics.

In October of 2020, the most-searched story topics in the country were “Trump,” ‘”coronavirus,” “Biden,” “George Floyd,” “White House” and “racism.” Last month, the top 10 news topics included “NFL,” “football,” “ESPN” and a number of cities with teams in the news such as Houston (Astros) and Las Vegas (Raiders).

Leading the way, as usual, is the NFL. “Bolstered by engaging storylines, including the resignation of Jon Gruden, the resurgence of the Dallas Cowboys, and most recently Aaron Rodgers’ vaccination status, interest in the league has surged,” according to Axios.

As further evidence that Americans would rather spend their time thinking about the gridiron than the government, there were more Google searches for Rodgers than Joe Biden on the day of and the day following the House passage of the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, per Google Trends data.

While interesting, the findings should not be all that shocking as many people are likely looking for a break from reality and some easy entertainment following a stressful time period. Sports, generally, provide both of those things.

That wasn’t always the case under the previous president, who often politicized sports and openly feuded with the NFL at certain points over the league not disciplining its players for kneeling during the national anthem. That behavior, coupled with many other factors, led to many championship teams skipping a visit to the White House.

With Donald Trump out of office and Joe Biden in, that tradition was revived yesterday when the Milwaukee Bucks became the first NBA team to visit the White House in almost five years.