Who Are Professional Sports Owners Supporting in 2024?

Who Are Professional Sports Owners Supporting in 2024?

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Professional sports team owners are mum ahead of the 2024 election on whom they are backing.

The Epoch Times reached out to all U.S. professional sports owners in the NBA, NHL, MLB, and NFL who are eligible to donate to U.S. campaigns. (Eight NHL owners and one NBA owner are not U.S. citizens and therefore are legally prohibited from making political campaign contributions in the United States).

The teams either did not respond or declined to make their owners available for an interview.

Despite not accepting interview requests, the owners’ donations show that most of them give to Republicans rather than Democrats, except those in the NBA, where this trend is reversed.

Having most of the sports-owner world on its side is crucial to the GOP as its fundraising apparatuses trail behind the Democrats, with the party looking to right a disappointing 2022 election by expanding its majority in the House and taking back the Senate and White House.

Notably, a good chunk of owners donate to both Republicans and Democrats, with the NBA having most of its owners giving to both parties.

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Teams usually do not endorse candidates, and the donations of their owners do not tend to reflect the opinions of players. An exception is the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, which endorsed President Joe Biden in 2020.

The contributions listed below come from the Federal Election Commission as of September.

NFL

Of the 32 NFL teams, 14 of the owners have donated to the GOP, while just five have given to Democrats. Nine have given to both Republicans and Democrats. For the remaining four, the party donations are unknown, though Mark and Carol Davis, owners of the Las Vegas Raiders football team, have contributed to Gridiron PAC, the NFL’s political-giving vehicle.

Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper has donated $250,000 to Tell It Like It Is PAC, a political action committee supporting former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, plus $3,300 directly to the Christie campaign and another $1,218.42 to the campaign of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam gave $13,200 to Sen. Tim Scott’s (R-S.C.) now-suspended campaign.

Houston Texans owner Janice McNair has given $3,300 each to Mr. Scott and Mr. DeSantis.

Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill has contributed $3,300 to Mr. Christie’s campaign; $6,600 to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s Senate campaign; and $11,600 to the Sinema Leadership Fund and $6,600 directly to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s (I-Ariz.) campaign, though she has not announced whether she will run for reelection. He has also donated to the reelection campaigns of Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-Ariz.) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a lifelong Democrat, has a complex relationship with former President Donald Trump. While he has not donated to any of his campaigns, he maintained a close relationship with him when he was in the Oval Office, even appearing at White House Hanukkah parties.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones endorsed President Trump in 2020, praising his handling of the COVID pandemic, though he did not donate to his campaign.

“I’m very confident that he’ll be able to continue governing and really, really, I’m sure that he has anticipated this, knowing him,” he said. “He’s the hardest worker you’ve ever seen. Knowing him, he’ll be able to go right on through and hopefully not miss a beat.”

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross hosted a fundraiser in 2019 for President Trump’s reelection campaign, though he has been unafraid to criticize him.

NBA

Out of the 30 NBA teams, eight of the owners have given to Democrats, five have donated Republicans, and 12 have contributed to both. There are no donation records on two of the owners: the Portland Trail Blazers’ Jody Allen and the Memphis Grizzlies’ Robert Pera.

The Toronto Raptors’ Larry Tanenbaum and the Brooklyn Nets’ Joseph Tsai are not U.S. citizens and therefore are not allowed to make donations to American political campaigns.

The Houston Rockets’ Tilman Fertitta has donated $9,900 to President Trump’s campaign. He and his wife donated $140,000 to him in the 2020 race.

The Dallas Mavericks’ Mark Cuban has not donated to any campaign in recent years, though he frequently weighs in on politics and, despite speculation, has said he will not run for the White House. He endorsed President Biden in 2020, citing the COVID pandemic. Mr. Cuban has yet to endorse anyone in the 2024 cycle.

“I would hire Joe Biden in a heartbeat,” he has said.

The Milwaukee Bucks’ Marc Lasry has donated $46,600 to support President Biden’s reelection, with contributions directly to the campaign and to political action committees.

Philadelphia 76ers owner David Blitzer, who has given to both Democrats and Republicans, has donated $31,600 to support President Biden’s campaign.

The Chicago Bulls’ Jerry Reinsdorf, who also owns the MLB’s Chicago White Sox and has donated to both Republicans and Democrats, gave $11,600 to the Tim Scott Victory Fund and another $3,300 directly to Mr. Scott’s campaign. In the 2020 cycle, he gave to many GOP and Democrat candidates.

The Atlanta Hawks’ Tony Ressler has donated $1,000 to Sen. Jacky Rosen’s (D-Nev.) reelection campaign.

MLB

Of the 30 MLB teams, 12 owners have donated to Republicans, six have given to Democrats, and five have contributed to both. No public info is available about to whom four others have donated. (Two of the teams, the Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves, are owned by companies. San Diego Padres owner Pete Seidler, who mainly donated to Democrats, died in November and no majority owner has taken over.)

The Cincinnati Reds’ Bob Castellini gave $6,600 to former Vice President Mike Pence’s suspended campaign. He gave $2,900 to Republican Ohio state Sen. Matt Dolan’s U.S. Senate campaign.

The Colorado Rockies’ Charlie Monfort, who has given to both Democrats and Republicans, has donated $4,115 to President Trump’s campaign, while the San Francisco Giants’ Charlie Johnson has donated $225 to the former’s president’s campaign.

The New York Mets’ Steve A. Cohen, who has given to both Democrats and Republicans, had contributed $12,200 to Rep. Gregory Meeks’ (D-N.Y.) campaign.

The Washington Nationals’ Mark Lerner has contributed $3,125 to Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks’ U.S. Senate campaign in Maryland to succeed retiring Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.).

Los Angeles Angels owner Arturo Moreno endorsed President Trump’s 2020 campaign, though he did not donate to it.

“It’s necessary to focus on today and the future, and it’s very necessary to vote for President Trump,” he said.

NHL

Out of the 32 NHL teams, 25 of which are in the United States, 11 owners have donated to Republicans, eight have given to Democrats, and five to both Democrats and Republicans. No political donation records for two of the American owners could be found. The seven Canadian teams are not owned by U.S. citizens, and the San Jose Sharks are owned by a company.

The Las Vegas Golden Knights’ Bill Foley has given $6,600 to Mr. DeSantis’ campaign.

The New Jersey Devils’ David Blitzer, who has contributed to both Republicans and Democrats, has donated $6,600 directly to President Biden’s campaign and $25,000 to the Biden Action Fund.

Additionally, he has given $6,600 to Sen. John Barrasso’s (R-Wyo.) reelection campaign; $6,600 to Republican former Navy SEAL Tim Sheehy’s Senate run in Montana; and $6,600 to Sen. Bob Casey’s (D-Pa.) reelection campaign.

Moreover, he has donated $6,600 to Middlebury College professor Jason Blazakis’ Democrat congressional campaign to unseat Rep. Tom Kean Jr. (R-N.J.); $1,650 to Ms. Rosen’s campaign; and $6,600 to Rep. Bryan Steil’s (R-Wis.) reelection campaign.

Furthermore, Mr. Blitzer has given $2,900 to Rep. Donald Norcross’ (D-N.J.) reelection campaign; $6,600 to Rep. Anthony D’Esposito’s (R-N.Y.) reelection campaign; and $1,600 to Ms. Sinema’s campaign.

The Seattle Kraken’s David Bonderman donated $2,000 to Mr. Scott’s campaign; $1,500 to Rep. Darin LaHood’s (R-Ill.) reelection campaign; $2,500 to Rep. Jodey Arrington’s (R-Texas) reelection campaign; $5,100 to Sen. Maria Cantwell’s (D-Wash.) reelection campaign; and $2,900 to Rep. Jimmy Gomez’s (D-Calif.) reelection campaign.

The Arizona Coyotes’ Alex Meruelo has given $3,300 to Rep. Mark Amodei’s (R-Nev.) campaign and the same amount to California Democrat state Sen. Susan Rubio’s congressional campaign to succeed retiring Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.).

The Los Angeles Kings’ Philip Anschutz has donated to the reelection campaigns of Mr. Barrasso, Mr. Cornyn, and Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), and Rick Scott (R-Fla.). He has also contributed to Mr. Sheehy’s campaign and that of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.).

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Ronald Burkle has given $6,600 to Rep. Morgan McGarvey’s (D-Ky.) reelection campaign.


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