Survey: LeBron James Is the Most Hated Athlete on Twitter

LeBron James
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

According to a new survey of Twitter comments, L.A. Lakers star LeBron James comes out on top as the most hated athlete of them all.

For its top 20 list, betting news company Pickswise combed through 500,000 negative messages posted over the last year that were aimed at athletes on Twitter and discovered that LeBron James was the most hated athlete of them all, and it wasn’t even close.

According to the company’s survey, James received thousands of times more abuse on Twitter than any of the others on the list. Indeed, James was the target of more negative tweets (122,568) than the combined tweets (106,599) of the other four of the five most abused players.

Pickswise reviewed the tweets spanning June 2020 to June 2021, looking for messages that contained “words, phrases and hashtags that were known abusive terms” against pro athletes.

The Pickswise list:

  • LeBron James (122,568 abusive tweets)
  • Marcus Rashford (32,328 abusive tweets)
  • Tom Brady (28,151 abusive tweets)
  • Kevin Durant (24,370 abusive tweets)
  • Bubba Wallace (21,750 abusive tweets)
  • Damian Lillard (20,904 abusive tweets)
  • Trevor Bauer (14,083 abusive tweets)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (11,757 abusive tweets)
  • Steph Curry (11,203 abusive tweets)
  • Mesut Ozil (11,192 abusive tweets)

Pickswise claimed that the purpose of its list was to “showcase what elite athletes now have to live with” with abusive fans and to “encourage social media companies to do more to combat the practice” of abusive posts.

The list is compiled in two forms, one for “all abuse” in general, and a second list specifically for homosexual taunts.

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