Ronda Rousey returned to WWE at this year’s Royal Rumble event. The former UFC champion won the women’s Royal Rumble match and will go on to face Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WrestleMania. Ronda seems like she should be sitting on top of the world.
It turns out that fans haven’t been showing Ronda a lot of love since her return. A recent study commissioned by BonusFinder looked into the amount of abuse female athletes face online. Ronda Rousey had the highest percentage by far.
According to the data in the study, 83.1% of the tweets Ronda Rousey received were of a negative nature. Becky Lynch received more negative tweets in total, with 8,705, but only had a 76.19% negativity ratio. Gymnast Simone Biles topped the chart with 14,077 total tweets, of which only 65.11% were negative.
Fans should take the study with a grain of salt. The sponsor does not list any methodology in their report or their press release. A timetable for when the tweets were measured was not given, either.
As a general overview of Twitter’s mood, the study is somewhat insightful. It doesn’t take into account that there are faces and heels in professional wrestling and sometimes fans react to “bad guy” characters negatively. The study does not define what is meant by a “negative tweet” either.
Given the surface analysis offered by the study, it does appear that Ronda Rousey received a substantial percentage of negative tweets. Without knowing when the study was done and what constitutes “negative”, it is difficult to determine exactly how bad online misogyny against female athletes has become. There is no doubt that Twitter can be toxic and sexist. With some more clarity and better methodology, these numbers might tell a very interesting story.
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