SBD/Issue 39/Law & Politics

Broncos' Marshall Prevented From Carrying Out Obama Tribute

Marshall (l) Planned TD Celebration
Honoring President-Elect Obama
Broncos WR Brandon Marshall, after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's Broncos-Browns game, "reached into his pants and pulled out a glove for what looked like a pre-planned celebration," but before Marshall could do anything, Broncos WR Brandon Stokley "ran over to Marshall begging him to stop," according to Chris Chase of YAHOO SPORTS. Marshall after the game said that he wanted to "take a page from John Carlos and Tommie Smith's black power demonstration at the 1968 Olympics" and celebrate President-elect Barack Obama's victory. Marshall "wanted to put on the glove, half-white and half-black, to hold up in triumph." But Stokley, fearing a 15-yard personal foul that "almost certainly would have been called by the refs after such an event," stopped Marshall (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/6). Marshall after the game read from a message he had written earlier in the day, saying, "I wanted to create that symbol of unity because Obama inspires me, our multi-cultured society. And I know at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised that black glove in that fist as a silent gesture of black power and liberation. Forty years later, I wanted to make my own statement. I wanted to make my own statement and gesture to represent the progress we made" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 11/7). Marshall said Obama "inspired me, and not just me and my teammates, but the nation. ... It’s not about white or black. It’s about USA, red, white and blue, and that’s what I was going to do, but Stokley came and said, ‘It’s too close of a ballgame, we might get flagged’” (NFL Network, 11/6). KDBR-Fox' Josina Anderson reported prior to the game Marshall would only bring out the glove if he "feels comfortable there's a moment in the game he finds appropriate to the current score and atmosphere." Marshall said before the game, "My intent is not to draw selfish attention to myself, but to use this platform to make a political statement of hope and unity” (MYFOXCOLORADO.com, 11/6).

DEEPER MEANING: In St. Louis, Bryan Burwell writes of Obama's election, "From Joe Louis to Tiger Woods, from Jackie Robinson to the 1970 Alabama-Southern Cal game that helped change the face of southern college football, sports in no small way helped America get its racially divided mind right for this historic moment" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/7). Colts coach Tony Dungy compared the Colts' appearance in Super Bowl XLI against the Bears and coach Lovie Smith, marking the "first two black head football coaches reaching the Super Bowl," to Obama's election as the country's first black President. Dungy said of his accomplishment, "Not even in the same universe, was it? Not even close" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 11/7). In Chicago, Rick Morrissey writes under the header, "Election Sends Right Message To Young Athletes." Morrissey: "What an opportunity there is now, with Obama preparing to move into the White House. Will kids look up from their pickup games long enough to notice? Will they start to reach higher than a basketball rim?" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/7).

Baseball Officials Hopeful Obama Will Help 
Sport's Chances Of Olympics Reinstatement
CHASING THE RINGS: Int'l Baseball Federation President Harvey Schiller said that Obama's administration "could help baseball's chance of being reinstated into the Olympics." Schiller: "Having a person who's familiar with baseball from a city where it's a popular sport and a country where it's a popular sport, any support that he can give will be helpful. What we need are the leaders of all the major countries that play baseball to step forward." MLB Exec VP/Baseball Operations Jimmie Lee Solomon: "It's hard to tell what the impact of Barack Obama winning is going to be on our country, our world, baseball and the Olympics. Right now, everything I've seen has been positive. I'd like to believe that our bid to get back in the Olympics would be enhanced by having Barack Obama in office" (MLB.com, 11/6). Meanwhile, the WALL STREET JOURNAL's Burton & Adamy report corporate leaders in Chicago "regard the peaceful election-night Obama rally in the city's lakefront Grant Park as the most powerful case anyone could make for drawing" the 2016 Olympics to Chicago. Around 200,000 people "wept, rejoiced and tossed beach balls with the backdrop of a city skyline topped by red, white and blue lights." Chicago 2016 Chair Patrick Ryan said, "There's no doubt people around the world were not pleased by our government. That was manifested in many IOC discussions." But Chicago 2016 BOD member John Rogers Jr. said Obama's "diplomacy, his willingness to listen, world leaders are going to love that" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/7).

TAX BRACKET: Sports agent Steve Forest said Obama’s plan to raise the capital gains tax from 15% to 20% will have the biggest impact on MLB. Forest: “Baseball right now is out of session, they’re not playing anymore, it’s negotiating time. We’re really talking from (November-January). Any deals that get done than -- signing bonuses, money upfront -- possibly could have an impact when you’re talking about a 4-5% increase on a very large, multimillion deal.” Forest noted the “window is short” to get a deal done, “less than 60 days so it’s important to really do your numbers now.” Forest: “What I want to do is make sure that my clients are protected and get deals. I’m not so much worried about (the capital gains tax rising) than making sure they get the deals and I want to get more money upfront versus later” (“America’s Nightly Scoreboard,” Fox Business, 11/6).

OVER THE AIRWAVES: NIELSEN noted Obama "utilized Sports Programming like no candidate in history," as his campaign spent an "estimated $5[M] on commercials" during the Beijing Olympics. In '08 there have been 7,416 "Obama for President" ad units in live sporting events, and 1,081 during the NFL season alone. Sports remains "one of the last bastions of live television, giving politicians a better chance their 30-second spots aren't bypassed in a DVR World," and the "huge ratings that sporting events receive also provide a platform to speak to a wide ranging constituency of Republicans, Democrats and Independents" (NIELSEN.com, 11/6). In Las Vegas, Richard Eng writes horse racing "could learn a lot" from Obama in "trusting the intellectual use of technology to promote a cause" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 11/7). 

YOUTH VOTE: MLS Seattle Sounders FC co-Owner Joe Roth sees soccer as “appealing to the same fast-growing demographic groups that have been at the center” of President-elect Barack Obama’s campaign. Roth: “The way America is changing in its ethnicity -- becoming more Latino and African American -- is going to make soccer a major sport in the same way those ethnic shifts are helping Obama. Soccer's fastest growth is in liberal, better-educated cities, places like Seattle, Portland, Boston, Vancouver, Montreal and Los Angeles. All you have to do is look at the MLS crowds -- they're young, they're noisy and they're not that different from the youthful spirit you'd see at an Obama rally” (LATIMES.com, 10/31). Ari Fleischer Sports Communications President Ari Fleischer said he is "keenly cognizant of what Barack Obama just showed America about how to organize and promote through the power of young people” (THE DAILY).  

MILESTONE MOMENT: In N.Y., Brian Lewis reports each NFL Giants player spoken to acknowledged Obama's election "as a milestone in American history," and several players "admitted to being very emotional seeing the first African-American president." Giants DE Justin Tuck: "I was emotional. It's a great feeling, it's a long time coming, but everybody needs to understand Barack isn't a savior. Everybody's looking at it like he's going to save us, but he's got a lot of work to do. He was trying to convey that to American in his speech" (N.Y. POST, 11/7). Rutgers women's basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer said of Obama's election, "I cried a lot. ... I didn't realize I had so much emotion. But I was so proud of him, proud of America" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/7).

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