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Twitter Trends: Simone Biles, Tokyo Olympics Dominated 2021

Simone Biles was the most tweeted about female athlete and the Tokyo Olympics was the most tweeted about sporting event, according to data from Twitter.

With 2021 nearly in the books, Twitter released data for the most tweeted athletes, teams and moments of the year.

It should come as no surprise that the most tweeted sporting event of the year was the Tokyo Olympic Games, and the most tweeted about Olympian and female athlete was Simone Biles. With more than 3 million tweets about her, Biles also had the most liked celebrity tweet of the year, with 1.3 million accounts liking her tweet thanking fans for their support as she looked after her mental health.

LeBron James was the most tweeted about male athlete of the year, with his Los Angeles Lakers the most tweeted about team of 2021. Though soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t make the list of the five most tweeted male athletes, Manchester United’s tweet announcing his return to Old Trafford was the second-most retweeted post worldwide this year.

Super Bowl LV was the second-most tweeted sporting event of 2021. In part thanks to his MVP performance in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ win over the Kansas City Chiefs, Tom Brady was the second-most tweeted male athlete. And even in the year after his tragic passing, Kobe Bryant placed third. Kyrie Irving and Aaron Rodgers rounded out the top five.

Tennis and wrestling dominated the female athlete rankings, with Naomi Osaka coming in as the second-most tweeted female athlete and the top tennis player on Twitter. Sasha Banks, Serena Williams and Bianca Belair rounded out the top five.

Basketball Twitter dominated in 2021, with March Madness, the NBA Draft and NBA Finals completing the top five most tweeted sporting events. A resurgent season from the New York Knicks vaulted them to fifth among the teams most tweeted about this year, with the Philadelphia 76ers also making the top 10. The champion Chicago Sky and finalists Phoenix Mercury ruled the WNBA on Twitter.

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Baseball Twitter also had a robust year, with half of the most tweeted about teams coming from Major League Baseball, including the World Series champion Atlanta Braves and the American League champion Houston Astros. In the NFL, nobody should be surprised that the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys landed among the five most tweeted teams, but the Cleveland Browns coming in third may turn a few heads.

Despite winning championships in their respective sports, neither the Buccaneers, Milwaukee Bucks nor the Tampa Bay Lightning finished in the top five of the NFL, NBA and NHL Twitter rankings.

Full details of the report below:

Most tweeted about female athletes

  1. Simone Biles
  2. Naomi Osaka
  3. Sasha Banks
  4. Serena Williams
  5. Bianca Belair

Most tweeted about male athletes

  1. LeBron James
  2. Tom Brady
  3. Kobe Bryant
  4. Kyrie Irving
  5. Aaron Rodgers

Most tweeted about teams

  1. Los Angeles Lakers
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. New York Yankees
  4. Green Bay Packers
  5. New York Knicks
  6. New York Mets
  7. Pittsburgh Steelers
  8. Philadelphia 76ers
  9. Houston Astros 
  10. Atlanta Braves 

Most tweeted about sporting events

  1. Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics
  2. Super Bowl LV
  3. 2021 March Madness
  4. 2021 NBA Draft
  5. 2021 NBA Finals 

Most tweeted about teams by league

NBA

  1. Los Angeles Lakers
  2. New York Knicks
  3. Philadelphia 76ers
  4. Brooklyn Nets
  5. Boston Celtics
  6. Milwaukee Bucks
  7. Golden State Warriors
  8. Phoenix Suns
  9. Miami Heat
  10. Atlanta Hawks

NFL

  1. Green Bay Packers
  2. Pittsburgh Steelers
  3. Cleveland Browns
  4. Dallas Cowboys
  5. Kansas City Chiefs
  6. Buffalo Bills
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  8. Las Vegas Raiders
  9. Philadelphia Eagles
  10. New England Patriots

MLB

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. New York Yankees
  3. New York Mets
  4. Houston Astros
  5. Atlanta Braves
  6. Boston Red Sox
  7. San Diego Padres
  8. Chicago White Sox
  9. Philadelphia Phillies
  10. Chicago Cubs

WNBA

  1. Chicago Sky
  2. Phoenix Mercury
  3. Seattle Storm
  4. Las Vegas Aces
  5. New York Liberty

MLS

  1. Atlanta United
  2. LA Galaxy
  3. Seattle Sounders
  4. Portland Timbers
  5. Los Angeles FC
  6. New England Revolution
  7. Philadelphia Union
  8. Columbus Crew
  9. Austin FC
  10. Orlando City SC

NHL

  1. Vegas Golden Knights
  2. New York Rangers
  3. New York Islanders
  4. Chicago Blackhawks
  5. Boston Bruins
  6. Tampa Bay Lightning
  7. Buffalo Sabres
  8. Philadelphia Flyers
  9. Pittsburgh Penguins
  10. Washington Capitals