Owners of professional sports teams in the U.S. are overwhelmingly backing Republican John McCain over Democrat Barack Obama in the presidential race.
Through the end of June, team owners and their families in the four major sports — baseball, football, basketball, and hockey — have reportedly contributed or raised more than $3.2 million to aid McCain, compared to only $615,000 for Obama.
McCain even raised over six times more than Obama from the owners of teams in Obama’s hometown of Chicago.
And owners of the teams in McCain’s hometown, Phoenix, contributed or raised as much as $550,000 for the Republican — and nothing for Obama.
McCain’s wife’s family owns a share of Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks, and McCain is a season ticket holder for the National Football League’s Arizona Cardinals.
Among McCain’s major backers, New York Jets owner Robert Wood Johnson has raised more than $500,000 for McCain, and Thomas Hicks, owner of the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League and baseball’s Texas Rangers, has raised or donated as much as $309,000 for McCain, according to Politico.
Bob Johnson, owner of basketball’s Charlotte Bobcats and founder of Black Entertainment Television, is a former Hillary Clinton backer who now supports Obama. He told Politico he has raised about $200,000 for Obama, although he acknowledged that sports owners have predominantly given to McCain.
“I don’t think there’s any correlation between being a sports owner and supporting John McCain,” he said, adding, “I think there’s a correlation between being a businessman and supporting John McCain.”