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SBD/Issue 38/Law & Politics
Decision '08: Obama Election Inspires Athletes To Get Involved
Published November 6, 2008
|Obama's Victory Was Met With Excitement,
Enthusiasm From Many Pro Athletes
ATHLETES GET INVOLVED: Texans QB Sage Rosenfels: "Politics have always been tough in a locker room and for athletes in general, because if you get overly bold on one side, you're probably going to alienate half your fans." But Rosenfels added, "This election was an exciting time for our country in general. It got us all excited." In Houston, Jerome Solomon notes following Obama's victory, "many of the Texans joined in the tears, cheers and spontaneous celebrations seen around the county." Texans LB DeMeco Ryans: "It's big for us all, not just African-Americans" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/6). In Philadelphia, Les Bowen reports "inspiration from Obama's victory resonated deeply within the Eagles locker room." Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, 31, said that he was a "first-time voter, having finally registered this year." Eagles LB Omar Gaither said, "Because Barack was in this election, it made me want to (make a special effort to) vote. I'm not even going to deny that." McNabb: "Growing up and seeing and hearing how some people may feel about having an African-American president, I didn't think it was possible." McNabb said of Obama's acceptance speech, "As a man, if you teared up, it was acceptable, because it was that deep." Eagles S Brian Dawkins added, "You saw everything on that stage. ... African-Americans, whites, Latin-Americans, you had everybody all happy and celebrating, and I just never thought that I would be alive to see that" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 11/6). Cavaliers F LeBron James, who arrived at Quicken Loans Arena for last night's Bulls-Cavaliers game wearing an Obama T-shirt, also "embraced the event -- even though his taxes are sure to go up." James "couldn't say whether he thought more athletes might become more involved." James: "But I was involved, and I was happy I was" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 11/6).
Knicks' Malik Rose Has Worn Shirt Featuring
Cartoon Of Obama Dunking Over John McCain
HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Colts coach Tony Dungy, when asked to compare Obama's election to becoming the first African-American football coach to win a Super Bowl, said, "This is way beyond that, you can't even compare it to that Super Bowl. That was exciting in the sports realm, but this is something I never thought I would see in my lifetime" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 11/6). Baseball HOFer Frank Robinson, who was the first African-American manager in MLB, said of Obama's election, "That's another barrier that has been destroyed, and it just goes to show you what is possible in this country" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/6). White Sox GM Ken Williams, one of two African-American GMs in MLB and a friend of Obama's, said, "It was a surreal moment. It was overwhelming and just a tremendous feeling of pride" (USA TODAY, 11/6). Magic C Dwight Howard: "It's the first African-American president. It shows where our country is" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.COM, 11/5). ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said, “Black sports figures, for more than 100 years going back to Jack Johnson, have been accepted when it comes to entertaining white Americans. … But we’ve never got this far before, even with the acceptance of sports figures in the political arena. I think there is a disconnect there until now. That crossover appeal has happened in other places, not in national politics.” WAXY-AM host Dan Le Batard added, “Once upon a time it was just that we would allow black people to play sports. Now coach and lead sports. The next step is own sports teams. You don’t have a Barack Obama in sports” (“PTI,” ESPN, 11/5).
Lovie Smith Shows Rare Emotions
When Discussing Obama Victory