A guide to sports stars’ endorsements of 2016 presidential candidates

With the presidential race having seemingly dragged on since Jan. 21, 2013 — the day after President Obama was sworn in for his second term — it’s hard to keep tabs on just who is endorsing which candidate, at least as far as the sports world is concerned. Here’s a handy checklist in case you care about such things.


Lou Holtz

The former Notre Dame football coach said he’s endorsing Trump because “I’ve played his golf course [and] I’ve stayed in his hotel. He does nothing but go first class in everything, he wants this country to be first class as well.”

[Lou Holtz cites golf courses, hotels as reasons behind his Trump support]

Bob Knight

Trump is “the most prepared man in history” to run for president, according to the former Indiana and Texas Tech men’s basketball coach.

[Donald Trump has Bob Knight’s vote secured]

Hulk Hogan

“I want to be Trump’s running mate,” the former professional wrestler said last year. Stranger things have happened recently.

Mike Tyson

Tyson and Trump have known each other since the 1980s, when Iron Mike ascended to the top of the heavyweight ranks thanks in part to bouts staged at Trump’s hotel in Atlantic City. So it’s no surprise that the former heavyweight champ is in Trump’s corner.

[Mike Tyson says Donald Trump’s success is ‘a pretty awesome thing’]

Brian France

NASCAR’s CEO and chairman took some heat for his Trump endorsement, not the least because he told the AP he campaigned for Obama in 2008. NASCAR has been trying to diversify its fan base for years, and France’s public support of Trump had some observers questioning the circuit’s sincerity about that.

Digger Phelps

“Coaches know how to get things done. Donald Trump is one of the great coaches of this country,” the former Notre Dame men’s basketball coach and current ESPN analyst said in Indiana on Monday. “And we’re all tired of what’s not gotten done for us the last eight years in this country and trust me with this: he is the man who will make America great again.”

Gene Keady

The former Purdue men’s basketball coach joined Phelps in endorsing Trump on Monday. “Indiana and Notre Dame and Purdue used to fight hard against each other,” he said. “But we all now want to be united and be under the same type of safe situation in the United States and Mr. Trump is the answer to that.”

John Rocker

Rocker, once an MLB pitcher, has long held views that skew to the right of even most Republicans, so his endorsement of Trump is hardly a surprise. “I think he has really woken America up,” Rocker told the Daily Caller in January.

[Archetypal Trump voter John Rocker will vote for Trump]

Dennis Rodman

Rodman appeared alongside Trump at WrestleMania 7 and tweeted last year that “we don’t need another politician, we need a businessman like Mr. Trump.”

Shawne Merriman

The former NFL linebacker told TMZ in September that Trump “has always been a good friend” of his.

John Daly

Like Rodman, Daly cited Trump’s business acumen in March when he tweeted “he’s not politics he’s business! It’s what our country needs.”

Dana White

“You will never hear me say a negative thing about Donald Trump. … Donald will get my vote,” the UFC honcho said last year, at least partly because Trump was an early supporter of the mixed martial arts outfit.


Cato June

The former NFL linebacker worked to get Clinton’s name on the ballot for the Indiana primary last year.

Jason Collins

The first openly gay athlete to play in one of the four major U.S. professional sports leagues has campaigned for Clinton, citing her support of LGBT causes.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

“Electing Clinton is important not just to maintaining the integrity of the United States but also to preventing an international trend that threatens to unleash a triumph of hatred and fear over reason,” the NBA legend wrote in his endorsement of Clinton in The Post.

[Read Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton]

Michelle Kwan

This one’s a no-brainer: The Olympic figure skating medalist worked at the State Department when Clinton was secretary there and has a husband who ran for governor of Rhode Island as a Democrat.

[Michelle Kwan joins Team Hillary]

Abby Wambach

In January, the retired USWNT superstar joined Lena Dunham for a Clinton campaign rally in New Hampshire.

[Abby Wambach, Lena Dunham stump for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire]

Billie Jean King

The tennis legend lauded Clinton during a 2013 ceremony, recording a video tribute. She campaigned for her ahead of the Iowa Caucuses earlier this year.


Ronda Rousey

“I’m voting for Bernie Sanders, because he doesn’t take any corporate money,” the former UFC champion said last year. “I don’t think politicians should be allowed to take money for their campaigns from outside interests.”

Source: Washington Post