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I knew there was a reason I liked the NFL. While sports media is notoriously biased towards the left (as difficult as it may be to believe, most insiders will acknowledge sports media is more liberal than even the mainstream news media), it appears that the folks they cover may not be.
A very interesting study from the Center for Responsive Politics reveals that the National Football League has its share of right-leaning money-makers:
But NFL owners and players generally are not shy about expressing their political views?through campaign cash to candidates. A new study out today from the Center for Responsive Politics ranked the teams by the volume of campaign money given by players, owners, executives and their spouses. And what they found was that the NFL skews very, very red.
Of the top five most generous NFL franchises, four tilted heavily toward the GOP. The most politically active team in the league, the Houston Texans, was responsible for a total of $293,100 since January of 2009. Of that, $287,300, or 98 percent, went to Republicans. That's because of one man?team owner and energy executive Robert McNair. McNair has given $215,200 of his estimated $1.4 billion net worth to political causes since January 2009, almost entirely to Republicans.
This of course presents me with a new challenge. The Houston Texans share the same division with my beloved Indianapolis Colts. I've been a fan of the Colts since they moved to Indy and I was old enough to know what football was. And while I wouldn't have to reject my fan-hood of the Colts to cheer for another team (when they're not playing the Colts, that is), it almost seems dirty.
But given that Colts owner Jim Irsay made such stupid, politically motivated remarks in his opposition to allowing Rush Limbaugh to be a part owner of an NFL franchise, and given the fact that Robert McNair seems to get it, it's a temptation. Okay, in actuality I'm not going to be making determinations about fan support based on the political inclinations of the team owners. But it is a nice change to see some of the entertainment types I enjoy watching actually not being financial opponents of the cultural and political positions I take.
But for those who will make their fan-hood decisions based on the political involvement of the various teams in the league, here are the top five right-leaning franchises: Houston Texans, San Diego Chargers, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburg Steelers (a bit of a surprise given the cozy relationship President Obama seems to have with some of the Steeler front office).
For Democrats looking for the most left-leaning teams in the league: Miami Dolphins (judging by the silly personnel moves of this tea, judging talent doesn't seem to be a skill of these folks), Cincinnati Bengals (no other team has had more players arrested or in legal trouble than these guys over the last several seasons), Atlanta Falcons, Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks.
Do people really determine who they cheer for based on political contributions? Probably not...but it's nice to see not all stars are backwards when it comes to the field.