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Rich Hill

Should pro athletes be playing politics?



  1. Vernon Davis2:03
  2. Monday Night Football0:22
  3. John Amaechi6:29
  4. Pittsburgh Steelers1:43
  5. Rich Hill4:08
  6. Barry Bonds6:52
  7. Ronnie Lott4:49
  8. 49ers2:06, 2:09, 5:23
  9. Governor Brown4:47
  10. Rashard Mendenhall1:42
Mon, 5 Nov 2012|

Chron Live examines the role that pro sports plays in politics, from endorsements to issues such as gay marriage.


Machine Generated Transcript

I in the gym clothes tomorrow let's introduce you to our political heavy hitters because they're going to be the one to bring it all together for us. We'll start with political strategist like get that right Roger Salazar -- call a political strategist from. And up from the chronicle CW Davies chuck it is to my left and I wanna get a joke careful eat right how to do. Terrific so far I'm doing OK tonight Monday Night Football. We're gonna see not only two teams played football a little like president Barack Obama and governor Mitt Romney. -- what I'm gonna watch these two guys it's a football game is a football game but sporting events like this are like the ultimate. Lot of reality show see got a built in audience you've got people there. All I would say is don't. Fumble you've got a lot of potential to mess up in front of a big audience if it goes as planned it'll be fine they'll talk and platitudes. We'll talk about football that it let them but you can always mess up and most of -- but don't forget Paul Ryan go to the Browns camp. And confuses the starting quarterback with a backup quarterback. Everybody remembers that don't make a mistake what is the upside if you're -- -- because we're hearing more and more athletes speak out what is the upside for an athlete to have political opinion. Well I mean that's a personal decision for them but there's really no upside because you're going to be taken off half the country this election so close. And it's it's a 5050 split here because -- somebody. There's nothing wrong with that though is that part of the game that's what America's open is that what it is is -- really didn't think it's evolving that white and it's it will happen more and more I think so because. Just like any there's many more venues for them to speak out but forever and it there the potential is this -- the same for four for resting up as high. A couple of years ago when the Sullivan laden was killed. Rashard Mendenhall from Pittsburgh Steelers went on Twitter at me and said well you know let's consider the other side the starter Mike -- with the other side. To put a pretty good start. So. You know he's a lot of heat for that. Yeah I'm not -- and I think that also it's -- yet to keep in mind that did that the more secure an athlete is you know that the more likely eager and you do it the artist to go out and start doing a lot of political work. You know Vernon Davis for examples are you got to secure spot with the with the 49ers he's one of the biggest. -- contributors on the 49ers to political campaigns. So you got guys relics secured their spot who threw out more apt to go out and net and be active politically than say somebody used to sort of fighting for public attention to fight for the spot up I would just say I think they also see themselves as a brand -- they're not they're not just athletes anymore. Endorsement deals are so important they see themselves as someone who's gonna be a public figure right and as a public figure what's bigger than the election right now. Let me get a part of that and jumping on that but I think tonight when people see the president and Romney on TB I think mostly it's going to be like she's just got to get a break coming up I don't think that's how it. I put an exact fact what that's the end result one side of it athletes coming up and speaking of voice right there's another side to it it campaign seek out some of these endorsements from player. Well I think they absolutely doing especially when it's as tight as it is right now they want you know that they're they're going after every undecided voter and if and if an athlete can turn. -- -- would the few extra folks over to their side that they really want. And then they're gonna go for that I'm in a lot of sports fans you know you can easily see a lot of ads in a lot of and what the president is doing tonight on -- proposed. If there are a lot of folks out there who I have other things that the worried about other than politics haven't really made up their -- yet never go out from. -- started in sports but now your outside of the sports round how have you seen it if you can say evolved from what it was like. An athlete speaking about politics till now -- I think the social media is the real key and I think the the potential to mess up on Twitter is just unbelievable. You've got a cellphone you're sitting in the locker room and you execute something occurs to you wouldn't think this'll be amused not just do this and the next thing you know you you've you're -- And it's just that it is unbelievable coaches are smacking their foreheads all the know might -- he really said that. FaceBook is a part of it but I think the I think Twitter I think this could everybody's always on I think there are many many more sports shows like this. Athletes are being asked for their opinion. In many cases. They hadn't done this before somebody asked their opinion they haven't done it through I think. The responsibility of being an athlete can be a public figures much Rich Hill is a political writer do you find that you want to hear from athletes do you find it so there's some space to write. About athletes when they have not necessarily -- I really don't I think for and in general most enforcement's really don't matter 20082 endorsements would matter. Oprah for Obama. And that Colin how other than that you know most of Doris Matsui discount let's. I think it struck I think they are sort of again you know and when you're looking at daddies get political campaigns and and as somebody -- -- put together a lot of advanced. I'm you know you're trying to find a much into -- you know these reporters have heard ours are stump speeches many many times before you know what else can we get in. Perfect example today with that with Governor Brown. Now he's got Ronnie Lott and eventually right as we speak. On proposition thirty talking about that that issue. You know so you know it and it adds an element he's -- sisco he's got a forty -- hall of Famer you wanted to go out there and campaign with them. So it adds another element and adds a little story line they can they get people to continue talking about your your campaign. Let's move -- -- athlete to the owner might find it to be a different side of the Iowa to -- owner or is it split. Well you know what I what I've seen with a with a lot of owners especially as they ended when it comes -- campaign contributions as a very pragmatic in the very astute about how they give money. He receiver sisco for example with both the 49ers and the Giants ownership. I've given to both sides almost equally and so you see a lot of them turn hedging their bets are -- they're trying to make sure that they got all the bases covered. Political issue going on in Minnesota has to -- with gay marriage there's a player for Baltimore. Whose pro gay marriage there's a teammate of his with the Ravens whose anti game there is who's from Minnesota. If I'm the owner of the Ravens don't I just wanna say hey guys block and tackle and that's what I -- -- in Texas but I can't say Kennedy and I. No you cannot that this is not a winner of an issue -- we know I mean let's be honest there have been gay athletes I would venture to say they were gay athletes on the 49ers. There are players who right now probably tour who are -- Player has not come out yet it's gonna happen. It's gonna happen in today's climate there's no way it's not gonna happen we'll bust or did we've already had a boxer cannot get at women not yet WNBA -- doesn't that count. And he what is it gonna count we've again and help boxer and given back and yeah I think you're gonna have to see a big figure in the history yep. Yup I -- the -- that holidays and I had a player get active player. In game -- -- player player we've had NBA players come out yet John Amaechi giant you know odd and so usually active has to be playing right now -- in order for -- -- matter to have a cultural impact out of a linebacker. Is what I think you are you saying hi Spencer now and I -- I believe I believe the 49ers have had. -- linebacker who was it. Real I do blow hard and making news here -- -- Then and what you say that and and it's important. You also said some things about Barry Bonds before that -- -- -- and -- and they say well wouldn't you say I just I had conversations I believe that's the case I think it was that I got the impression that this was not the time for him to reveal that but I think he was that an -- think there will be a time yes I think he does but -- the current or former. Former and I think that that. There is no upside as -- to doing that right now but there may be at some point a time when there is on it. I speaking is the father the case -- -- so we're just so we have our cars lieutenants there but I believe that's gonna happen I think the change that I've seen in sports. Where it was during homophobic before but who -- wasn't disorder. Our topic but I don't think that's the case that I don't think would be a big deal in the locker room today.

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