SBD/Issue 56/Sports Industrialists

Branching Out: NFL Players Getting Involved Politically

Redskins DE DORIAN BOOSE said that he is starting a political action committee (PAC) and "hopes to recruit a number of his teammates to the cause," according to Maske & Eilperin of the WASHINGTON POST. Boose is holding a fundraiser today to benefit the Senate campaign of TX-based attorney ED CUNNINGHAM, who serves as Boose's agent. Cunningham hopes to succeed retiring Sen. PHIL GRAMM (R-TX). Boose's venture "may be part of a broader trend," as Eagles OL JOHN WELBOURN, another Cunningham client, has started a PAC with the Eagles. Cunningham said that he "expects players from 'five or six' NFL teams to have PACs within the next few months." Cunningham: "I think within the next two years, you'll see every team have one. I always tell players it's so crucial for them to get involved. With most NFL players, by the time they realize what they have, their careers are over. I ask them whether they're just a part of the world or actively participating in the world. I hardly ever talk to a player who doesn't say he'd like to be more involved but doesn't know how to go about it." Cunningham and Boose both said that the formation of the PAC "is as much about meeting business leaders to make contacts for future endeavors as it is about wielding political influence." Boose: "It's a chance for me to broaden my horizons, get in the mix and meet some people." Welbourn: "The NFL tends to be kind of politically silent. You always hear about Hollywood actors supporting candidates and taking part in the political process, but you never hear about NFL players doing that" (WASH. POST, 12/1).

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