Do the sports make the superstars or do the superstars make the sports? At the risk of spoiling the list, only one sport represented by one the most popular female athletes is a truly mixed gender competition, since mixed doubles tennis is far from the most prestigious version of tennis. There’s probably something to be said for women’s tennis’ appearance on this list, too, since it seems to be the most visible sport as far as the fame of female athletes are concerned.
Then again, we’re not particularly interested in making a sociological argument about how different this list would be if women were allowed to play in the NFL. Not because it isn’t interesting, but because we’ve already got a lot to unpack here. After Harris Interactive released the latest iteration of their Most Popular Athletes poll, we took a look at the most popular male athletes. Now it’s time to look at the most popular women in sports today.
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that this poll reached out to just over 2,200 people, and while it is a representative poll, according to Harris, the fact that a vast majority of the 313 million people living in the United States were not consulted (and, obviously, almost every single poll ever suffers from this flaw) should be pointed out. If only to keep it from being brought up for the first time in the comments.