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Publicly Endorsing Political Candidates

Obama basketballFor a couple of days, had a post by Greg Oden on its front page, racking up more barks (positive votes) each hour. The title of his blog entry was: Senator Obama is getting my vote. Then, Jason Wulterkens wrote about how Tiger Woods recently jumped on the Obama bandwagon, throwing his support toward the likable candidate. It got me thinking, should athletes or agents vocally express their opinions on who America should vote for in a political election? Obviously, everybody has a First Amendment right to publicly announce who they are going to support in any type of forum. But is it a smart business decision to do so?

Leigh Steinberg, known as an agent who is always bucking the general trend (Jerry McGuire was supposedly based on his life), has also publicly announced his support for Senator Obama. In fact, he has created a group called Athletes for Obama with the help of Reggie Bush and Charles Barkley.

No matter if you think an athlete or agent should publicly support a candidate or drive people to vote for a particular person, I think we can all agree that it is worthwhile for people in high positions to have a goal of trying to broadly influence people to vote (not specifically who to vote for). That is why I particularly liked the way that Oden ended his post:

If the person I vote for wins it’s gonna be because of my one little vote, at least that’s what I’m gonna think. I think everyone should think that way. This will be my first presidential election to participate in as a voter and I hope that you younger voters will get involved. I think that our votes can really influence the outcome so go out, register and vote for who you think is the best candidate to be the best leader for this country and make sure you and your family will feel good about the new president that is elected in November.

I also urge all of this site’s readers to stay up to date with the Presidential race and vote this November. This will be the first opportunity for many of you to vote in a Presidential election. Make your voice heard. Each vote counts.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

5 replies on “Publicly Endorsing Political Candidates”

If Oden titled his post, “Universal healthcare is what I’m voting for,” it would have been more truthful. It’s like the battle between Clinton and Obama. Obama says vote for me, Clinton says support these issues.

Gred Oden was very bright in college. He’s great to have an endorsement from. Same with Charles Barkley, he’s one of those guys who knows his stuff. I guess when you have $20 million per year, you don’t mind giving $12 million back in taxes. And who better to spend 60% of your money than the federal government. We all know large governments are the most efficient means to helping each individual who needs the boost.

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