Sports

Pro athletes publicly endorse the presidential candidates

Retired NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar presents Hillary Clinton with a game jersey bearing his former number. (credit: Courtesy of the Department of State Via Wikimedia Commons) Retired NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar presents Hillary Clinton with a game jersey bearing his former number. (credit: Courtesy of the Department of State Via Wikimedia Commons)

With the U.S. presidential election looming, some might be curious about who their favorite (or least favorite) athletes and sports figures are supporting for president. While curiosity is all well and good, you should not base your vote by who athletes are supporting. They have their political opinions, and you should form your own based on your own values and research. If you’re looking for information on who to vote for, don’t read this article; try the Election section instead.

With that disclaimer out of the way, here are some noteworthy supporters of the presidential candidates in the world of sports.

Hillary Clinton

Unsurprisingly, most public votes of confidence are directed toward Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Her support from the NBA is solid from the top executives to elite players. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has supported Clinton with donations. Cleveland Cavaliers forward Lebron James gave a strong endorsement for her and campaigned for her in the crucial state of Ohio, a state in which no Republican has ever become president without winning. Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar penned an opinion piece in the Washington Post in support of her, and Hall of Fame guard Magic Johnson has helped her with fundraising.

Elsewhere in the sports world, retired U.S. Soccer forward Abby Wambach has been campaigning for Clinton in New Hampshire. Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown has been helping Clinton win over Ohioans. Finally, former New York Yankees shortstop, third baseman, and designated hitter Alex Rodriguez has given an individual maximum $2,700 contribution to the Clinton campaign. Though he had endorsed 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the last election, it seems like he, like many other Republican supporters, has decided to cross party lines as a result of the tumultuous election cycle 2016 has been.

Donald Trump

Republican nominee Donald Trump has had a share of sports figures in his corner, many of them coming from the NFL.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has shied away from a full out endorsement of Trump, but he has spoken about his friendship with Trump and has had a hat in his locker bearing Trump’s campaign slogan. For what it’s worth, Trump has reciprocated that friendship, lambasting NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s suspension of Brady for Deflategate and the appellate court decision to restore said suspension.

Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito tweeted out support for Trump, saying he was on his way to a rally before echoing President Ronald Reagan’s campaign slogan. Former wide receiver Terrell Owens also gave Trump his support.

Former Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan hosted a fundraiser for Trump. Bills head coach Rex Ryan introduced the candidate at a rally by saying, “We're all here because we support Donald Trump.”

Former NFL quarterback and current left fielder for the Scottsdale Scorpions Tim Tebow has indicated support for Trump, though he declined an invitation to speak at the Republican National Convention.

Elsewhere in sports, Olympic shooter Kim Rhodes has been in support of Trump, chiefly due to her understandable disdain for restrictions on the Second Amendment. Ex-boxer Mike Tyson gave a resounding endorsement for Trump, a result of a longstanding professional relationship between the two.

Finally, Hall of Fame forward Dennis Rodman tweeted out support for the Republican nominee. The endorsement is no surprise considering Rodman has been close with North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-Un, who voiced support for Trump after watching the first Democratic primary debate.