By Bob Cusack - 08/28/11 08:00 PM EDT
A slew of professional athletes, coaches and sports executives have made political donations this year to President Obama and Republican candidates running for the White House.
Michael D’Antoni, coach of the New York Knicks, gave $2,500 to Obama’s reelection campaign earlier this year while Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, donated the same amount to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s (R) campaign in May.
Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets, has been helping Romney raise funds this cycle. Michael Tannenbaum, the the Jets’ general manager, contributed to Romney’s campaign in May.
Jeremy Guthrie, a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles who lives in Cleveland, cut a $2,500 check to Romney in late June, according to Federal Election Commission fundraising data.
Jahri Evans, an offensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints, donated $10,000 to Obama’s reelection efforts. Desmond Howard, a Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl MVP, is also supporting Obama. In early June, Howard — who is now an ESPN analyst — donated $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund.
The chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs, Clark Hunt, donated $2,500 to former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) in May. Pawlenty dropped out of the presidential race this month after a disappointing finish in the Ames straw poll.
During the 2008 cycle, many in professional sports donated to presidential campaigns.
For example, Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith and Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez donated to then-candidate Obama while San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner gave to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), according to a report released by opensecrets.org. Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid donated to Romney and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning contributed to former Sen. Fred Thompson’s (R-Tenn.) presidential campaign.