Professional athletes choose their party

Professional athletes choose their party

The 2016  election cycle has shown to be incredibly divisive, and it seems like politics are seeping into more and more aspects of our everyday life. While some people seem to get mad when their favorite athletes show that they have political opinions, that has not stopped multiple players across all sports from using their media power to endorse a certain candidate. Within the past year, more and more athletes have stepped to help their favorite candidates, whether that be Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or a third-party option, get more attention and hopefully, more votes.

Among the people standing up to say “I’m with her” is Jason Collins, who is probably most well known for the being the first openly gay player in the NBA. Aside from just an appreciation of Clinton’s policies, Collins has been a long-time friend of Chelsea Clinton, and claims that the Clintons helped him accept his sexuality back in his collegiate years.

Alongside Collins is former figure skater Michelle Kwan, who has worked with Clinton in the past and has a strong history of being a Democrat. Former soccer player, and the holder of the world record for most international goals,  Abby Wambach has also thrown her support behind Clinton and has attended multiple rallies in support for her.

In support of “Making America Great Again” comes notably Terry Bollea, better known as Hulk Hogan, a former professional wrestler who loves Donald Trump. In August Hogan even went as far to say that he would like to be Trump’s running mate. He believes that America needs a president that will shake things up.

Unsurprisingly, professional golfer and long-time friend of Trump, John Daly, has also decided to go public with his political opinions. Calling Donald Trump “one of the great humans beings I’ve met in my life,” Daly is a strong believer in this country being run by businessmen instead of politicians.  

Not all long-time friends of  Trump have fully jumped on board with his presidency. Tom Brady has been known for his nearly 14-year friendship with Trump, but has been fairly iffy on directly endorsing him. At first, Brady seemed to be pro-Trump, touting a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker and saying that he thought a Trump presidency would be “great.”

That, however, was before Trump began spouting some of his more inflammatory comments. Since then, Brady has seemed to be far more hesitant to endorse the man, and has somewhat withdrawn his previous statement, claiming it was an offhand comment and he was still undecided on how to vote. Brady has further declined to answer questions on how he feels about Trump’s “locker room talk.”

Beyond just Trump and Clinton, some athletes have stepped outside of the two-party system to endorse a third party candidate.  MMA fighter Ronda Rousey has long been against both Trump and Clinton, especially after Trump’s less-than-nice tweets about her. While she has failed to directly endorse a candidate, she said that if Bernie Sanders was not on the  ballot, she would be voting third-party.