Who Is The True 'GOAT' In The Sports World? Here's What Sports Fans Say - Nicki Swift Survey

In today's time, the word "GOAT" is often used as an acronym for the "Greatest of All Time." According to USA Today, the term started when Muhammad Ali's wife created G.O.A.T. Inc, and the term is still being used to describe today's greatest athletes, celebrate their accomplishments, and put a label on those who surpassed the "Most Valuable Player" title.

Throughout the years, people have seen many "GOATs" emerge in the sports world. Simone Biles had some fun with the title by creating a leotard sporting the term. "The idea was to hit back at the haters," she told Marie Claire in 2021, explaining that people were making jokes about it. Biles has multiple moves named after her — something that happens when a gymnast is the first to successfully complete a skill in an international competition — and she is a sexual assault survivor.

The title can be debated as well, and that's the case for baseball's all-time hits leader Pete Rose. The former Cincinnati Reds player was bound to be a first ballot Hall of Famer, but was banned from the game due to gambling, making him ineligible to be in MLB's Hall of Fame, per Fox Sports. Still, fans have been voting for him through write-in votes and Rose himself has been applying and even petitioning. There are many athletes who could be considered the "GOAT," so who do Nicki Swift readers think deserves the title? After conducting a survey of 587 people, we have our answer.

Nicki Swift readers believe Michael Jordan is the 'GOAT'

According to the 587 Nicki Swift readers who took our survey, they believe Michael Jordan is most deserving of the "GOAT" title with 28.28% of the votes. Sports analyst Matt Powell told Bleacher Report, "If you added up all of the NBA athletes together, it wouldn't equal Jordan in one year." The basketball player paved the way for the younger generation, as the late Kobe Bryant admitted to copying Jordan's technique.

Tom Brady came in second place, mustering up 22.32% of the votes. After winning his seventh Super Bowl, people began calling him the "GOAT" and he even earned a goat emoji next to his Twitter hashtag. "I'm not a big comparison guy," he told HBO's "The Shop" (via Insider). "It really just depends what style you like." According to the New York Times, throughout 20 seasons of playing football, he took his team to the Super Bowl 10 times, and is still playing at 45 years old.

Serena Williams made the top 3 with 21.81% of the votes. According to ESPN, she has 23 single Grand Slam titles, but she's worthy of being the "GOAT" because success hasn't been easy for her. She had a hematoma and a pulmonary embolism in 2011, and she experienced racism from spectators, commentators, and opponents throughout her career. Lastly, the poll was rounded out by LeBron James with 15.5% and Cristiano Ronaldo with 12.1%.