With the nation’s attention on the general election, many have overlooked the election of former nationwide athletes. These athletes come from different kinds of sports: football, basketball, baseball etc. As they have left a mark in their respective sport, they are trying to do the same thing now, only this time, in the world of politics.
Kevin Johnson, a former All-Star point guard for the Phoenix Suns, decided to run his platform based on changing the perception of his hometown during his campaign for mayor of Sacramento, California. The people of Sacramento elected him to office; however, not only was Johnson able to beat the incumbent mayor Heather Fargo, but in the process, he became the first black mayor of the city.
Heath Shuler, an ex-quarterback for the Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints, won his re-election bid to Congress. Shuler, a North Carolina Democrat, defeated Republican, Carl Mumpower, for the seat in Congress. Baron Hill, a former basketball player at Furman University, also won a seat in Congress for the state of Indiana. Other former athletes that are joining Shuler and Hill in Congress are Norm Dicks, a former linebacker at the University of Washington, who won his re-election bid, and Jason Chaffetz, a former kicker for Brigham Young University, won the congressional seat in the state of Utah. In one case that surprised even me, there are former athletes in the Senate, too. Jim Bunning, a Hall of Fame pitcher, is a senator for the state of Kentucky and Herb Kohl, current owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, holds a senate seat for the state of Wisconsin.
The list of former athletes that have held or a currently hold a political position can go on and on. Athletes have felt for years that whatever goes on in politics affects them and by feeling this way, many have decided to get involved to help make a difference. So the next time you hear an athlete talk about politics and the way things are, watch out; they just might be the next Lynn Swann or Jesse Ventura.