In the past, many retired Professional and Olympic Athletes have endorsed presidential candidates including Mike Tyson, Magic Johnson, and Abby Wombach, and the 2020 Election has been no different. Current Professional Athletes in the past have abstained from endorsing any candidate in elections. Many retired athletes have spoken out and endorsed presidential candidates for 2020.
Athletes are represented on both sides of the isle in every election cycle, and go on to provide community service and support to the cities they play in. Athletes such as Abby Wombach become members of the campaign team and attend speaking engagements on behalf of their selected candidate.
In past elections, professional athletes who are still active on rosters have abstained from endorsing a candidate to refrain from misrepresenting any of the brands, teams, and organizations they are members of where political opinions are more diverse.
The 2020 election is unique in the fact that more and more professional athletes are electing to endorse a candidate and fuel voting campaigns.
Current Pro athletes that have endorsed Biden include Stephen Curry, point guard for the Golden State Warriors, and Lebron James of the LA Lakers.
Michelle Kwan, an Olympic figure skater endorsed Biden and joined his campaign as she believes in his ability to unify the country based on past record. Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner, has also endorsed Biden, claiming that “Donald Trump doesn’t want to run a country. He wants to run a campaign”.
President Donald Trump has been endorsed by current Washington Nationals Players Kurt Suzuki and Ryan Zimmerman, who both showed their support during the celebration of the World Series. Mike Tyson, former pro boxer, has also endorsed Trump along with professional golfer John Daly. Dana White, UFC President, has endorsed Trump and spoke at a Trump rally in Colorado as well as appearing at the Republican National Convention. Former NFL athlete Jack Brewer has shown support for Trump while also directing criticism toward Joe Biden.
The election is highly charged and opposing sides have been speaking out for their candidates and working to make their opposition look bad as well.
Many Professional athletes abstain from endorsing a candidate but encourage fans to go out and vote.
The NFL has created an initiative to encourage voters to develop their own game plan for casting their ballot in person or through the mail system. Athletes have created warm up t-shirts and game day outfits around the message of encouraging civic engagement and voting.
The Charlotte Hornets, a WNBA team, has turned their stadium into an early voting site along with many collegiate stadiums all looking to provide voters safe access to polling amid the coronavirus pandemic. This response by the professional sports stage is unprecedented and comes in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests. Athletes have been speaking out about the importance of civic engagement now more than ever as the days until
the election are being counted down quickly.
Sources: CBS NEWS, Clutch Points, USA Today