At the Scouting Combine, NFL coaches and team executives made it clear they were only interested in how openly gay prospect Michael Sam could help them on their football field.
But a study of Twitter reactions to Sam’s announcement indicates some markets might be more ready to accept him than others.
Via Outsports, an Emory University study of Twitter posts in each NFL city showed that New York generated the most positive responses, while Nashville offered the most negative reaction.
The top cities didn’t offer many surprises, with major metropolitan areas Chicago, San Francisco and Boston taking the third through fifth spots. St. Louis was second and Kansas City was sixth, natural for a player who helped the University of Missouri to a successful season.
In addition to the home of the Titans, the list of negative responses also included Oakland, Green Bay, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Jacksonville and Cleveland.
While the study obviously presents a narrow window, it does speak to which areas might be easier for Sam to navigate as a rookie.
Shortly after Sam’s announcement, his agent singled out the Chargers as a possible fit, citing the way they handled Manti Te’o’s controversial rookie season.
But at least in terms of fan reaction, he might be better off the bigger the market he lands in.