The Perspectives of Female Sports Fans

In recent years, sports have become a transformative force for women and young girls around the globe. Is there a female fan base, given that more women want to go on the scoreboard? If so, what do they prefer to watch? And are female sports fans accorded due regard?



Over 1,000 women who follow at least one of the four major leagues were questioned to determine this. The final results have been tallied; continue reading to see which league is the most popular among women and how other fans treat them.


Female Fan Favorites

In 2019, Ciara empowered women and girls by becoming a co-owner of the Seattle Sounders soccer team. Ciara declared on social media that she is now one of a small number of female sports club owners. Who are some of the other people? Virginia Halas McCaskey (Chicago Bears), Patricia Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers), Norma Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs), and Martha Ford are all NFL players (Detroit Lions).

Despite the recent rise in popularity of Major League Soccer (MLS), roughly 52% of female fans in our poll followed the NFL. One in five were MLB enthusiasts, 17.8% were NBA followers, and 10% were hockey lovers.



The Women’s World Cup surpassed viewing records, but our research indicates that this is not the norm. Only 12% of female sports enthusiasts claim to follow women’s leagues. Tom Brady and LeBron James were the most popular athletes among women in our research, with Aaron Rodgers, Stephen Curry, and Drew Brees rounding out the top five.


Harassment Experiences

On the field, play is fierce, but sometimes the stands may become a bit chaotic. Twenty-three percent of female fans have reported encountering harassment at athletic events, with football supporters being the most affected.

Harassment is defined as any conduct that threatens or offends another individual. Female fans in our survey were subjected to rude comments more than any other form of unwanted behavior (78.4%), and MLB fans were the most common victims. Approximately 58% of female NBA fans heard sexist remarks.



Women were harassed more frequently at stadiums (68.2%) than in pubs (59.5%) or on social media (34.3%). 36% of NFL fans experienced harassment on social media, while 81.4% of MLB female fans were subjected to unwelcome conduct at the stadium.


Female fans are respected.

Being a sports fan might be about numerous things, including respect, affection for one’s home state, wagering, and honor. The majority of female fans felt valued, according to our research, yet many were questioned about their team and game expertise, and 20% of women were labeled “fake fans.”

Compared to MLB supporters, female NHL fans were more likely to be asked on their team knowledge (37.7%) than MLB fans (40.4%), who were questioned on their grasp of the game. Nearly 70% of women were asked to name the players on their preferred team, making this the most often requested question. Following the name game, female fans were asked their favorite player’s position (57.4%) and current season statistics (54.9%).



Women on the Sidelines

Sports have been controlled by men for decades, but our research indicates that female fans are abundant. Women like watching the games of their favorite teams, and they interact with other fans in stadiums, pubs, and on social media. A large proportion of women, however, opt to support their teams from home out of fear of harassment. As major leagues examine the inclusion of women in sports, it may be necessary to create online and physical safe areas for women to enjoy the game.



For this study, 1,008 female sports enthusiasts of at least one of the four major leagues were polled (NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL). Those who did not choose one of the four main leagues or were not sports fans were rejected. Participants were required to answer questions on their experiences as female fans.


The ages of the respondents varied from 23 to 60, with a mean of 37 and a standard deviation of 10. For brief, open-ended questions, anomalies were eliminated. To guarantee that all respondents took our survey seriously, they had to correctly identify and reply to an attention-check question.



These statistics are only exploratory and rely on self-reporting from respondents. Issues with self-reported replies include exaggeration, selective recall, telescoping, attributing, and prejudice, among others. All values are approximations.


Fair Use Statement

We evaluated the treatment of female sports fans because we want everyone to enjoy the game. Please feel free to distribute our results and images for noncommercial purposes. Our only request is that you include a link back to this page so that our contributions will receive full recognition.