The number of people who were heavily following sports saw a curious change since last year. That could be attributed to the fact that the coronavirus changed things a bit, seeing that some events had to push through but under a different environment -- no fans. Also, some sports leagues were not as lucky, some unable to push through due to stricter conditions.

However, a poll tells a different kind of story. While it is true that the pandemic has altered the way people watch sports, others opted to shift to another genre due to politics getting involved. This has to do with the social injustice protests that marred sports last year.

A lot of athletes joined the social injustice protest, a right that any civilian has. However, seeing it radiating into sports with athletes making a stand has also caused damage. In the YouGov/Yahoo News poll, more than one-third (34.5%) of sports followers are watching less. 53.6% still follow sports but it is apparent that there has been a significant drop in sports viewership.

Of those numbers, 37.6% of men tuned in less. 28% of females also showed a dip in viewership. Shifting to the other side, 13% of men watched more sports while there were only 7% on the women side.

When social injustice comes to mind, the case of George Floyd rings a bell. It will be recalled that the 46-year-old died after he was one of four officers who knelt on his neck. Floyd allegedly passed a fake $20 bill in Minneapolis on March 8, 2021. Derek Chauvin was singled out as the officer who knelt on Floyd, something that sparked protests against police brutality.

And of course, there were movements against the last Administration which saw some NBA players taking a stand during games. Some knelt while others wore shirts with strong messages on their official jerseys and warmup gear. It may take time for sports viewership to get back to normal, probably once the coronavirus has been addressed and everything returns to the way it was before.

Black Lives Matter Protest A young woman wearing a mask and black lives matter t-shirt marching in a #BlackLivesMatter protest. Julian Wan/Unsplash