NFL Fans React to St Louis Rams Relocation to LA
The Rams owner, Stan Kroenke, announced that the St Louis Rams will be relocating as the LA Rams. Fans’ reaction, on article comment sections, message boards and social media, voiced disappointment and anger with the decision. Kroenke recognized that a relocation can be a “painful process for fans, teams and the league in general.” While Kroenke took a “great deal of pride in stability,” he hinted that St Louis facilities underserved the team. Nevertheless, after Kroenke’s formal statement, NFL viewers took to the online community to share their own opinions and reasonings.
A sentiment analysis of the NFL Rams relocation demonstrates outrage toward Los Angeles’ fan environment as well as the “selfish billionaires” that act as NFL owners. Perhaps most obviously, St Louis fans feel hurt. After the announcement, 72% of St Louis Rams fans expressed sorrow or bitterness about the loss of their team.
Negativity toward LA
A common pattern in this sentiment analysis shows that many NFL supporters feel that LA fans are spoiled, with multiple professional teams (and collegiate powerhouses) in a city where people go to games as “socialites.” Understandably, many St Louis natives are bitter about the move. Overall, there’s a general sympathy for the city that’s losing a team over business. But no one pities California as it earns its fourth NFL team.
Anger toward NFL Owners
When NFL owners voted on January 12, they were probably wary of the backlash… but did that matter to them? Fans expressed outrage at the billionaires manipulating team loyalty in order to earn more money.
The St Louis Mayor Francis Slay even joined the criticism stating, “”The NFL ignored the facts, the loyalty of St. Louis fans, who supported the team through far more downs than ups, and the NFL ignored a strong market and viable plan for a new stadium.” While some St Louis fans reacted against the players, most directed their disapproval to the owners.
How did you react to this NFL announcement? Which reaction was more prevalent in your online communities?