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Twitter study finds Tennessee fans least receptive to Michael Sam

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Michael Sam could become the first openly gay player in the NFL. (USATSI)
Michael Sam could become the first openly gay player in the NFL. (USATSI)

More NFL offseason: Mock Drafts | Prospect Rankings | Pro Days | Top free agents

Former Missouri linebacker Michael Sam announced last month that he was gay. There were a few anonymous detractors but the response, in general, was overwhelmingly positive. A recent Emory University study went so far as to break down just how receptive people were to the news based on where they lived.

Specifically, the study looked at tweets sent from Feb. 9-11, and they "were sorted by market, and analyzed for positive, negative, or neutral sentiment. Looking at the ratio of positive, negative, and neutral tweets allowed us to compare Twitter sentiment for Michael Sam across NFL Markets."

According to the findings, New York fans were the most receptive to the Sam news, while Tennessee fans were the least receptive. The top 10 and bottom seven markets are listed below.

Most receptive markets

1. New York
2. St. Louis
3. Chicago
4. San Francisco
5. Boston
6. Kansas City
7. Washington
8. Philadelphia
9. Tampa
10. Seattle

Least receptive markets

1. Nashville
2. Oakland
3. Green Bay
4. Pittsburgh
5. San Diego
6. Jacksonville
7. Cleveland

As Outsports.com notes, Emory's Manish Tripathi speculated at this week's Digital Sports Fan Engagement Conference that the high rankings for St. Louis and Kansas City may have been a function of their proximity to University of Missouri, where Sam played.

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