ESPN Report: “Majority of Pro sports team owners are Republicans”

The overwhelming majority of sports team owners are Republicans.
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According to an ESPN six part expose professional sports team owners in recent years have been heavily supporting Republicans financially--and are now seeking to continue that support, and hide it.

During a recent weekend gathering, an NBA owner ranted to confidants about the upcoming presidential election. It was early fall, with the election between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden still about a month away. The setting was idyllic: sunshine, the ocean, a ZIP code occupied by the affluent.

"Listen," the owner mused, "I'm so worried about Biden's regulations, so I'm funding as much as I can privately and confidentially to get Trump reelected. I know he's crazy, and I hope Democrats take the House and the Senate, but then Trump can block stuff and protect us on the taxes and regulation."

The source who was present is involved in ownership groups across leagues, and that source relayed that moment in response to a question:

Are professional sports team owners making political donations privately, in ways that not only shield their identity but shield them from backlash from their own players, staffers and fans?

The answer was a resounding yes -- and it happens regularly.

"There's no question," the source said.

"The overwhelming majority of sports team owners are Republicans. And they are very concerned about taxes, obviously, and regulation for their businesses."

To drive the point home, the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described attending NBA board of governors meetings, where politics has become a growing topic of conversation in recent years.

This is a group of 30 power brokers whose average net worth hovers in the neighborhood of about $2 billion. Their total wealth combined is upward of $140 billion -- more than the annual gross domestic product (GDP) of at least 130 countries. They're invested in a league whose annual basketball-related income, at least as of the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, is more than $7 billion annually.

But because of the coronavirus pandemic, the financial future of the league is murky. (And the same is true of the various industries that helped generate these owners' wealth.) If the adage about voting by pocketbook applies to anyone, it applies to these owners, perhaps more than ever.

How these team owners use those means has perhaps never been so scrutinized, especially with players calling for action from their team owners to push for social justice reform. The spotlight on political donations is bright; but according to the source involved with ownership groups, there's a push to avoid it, to donate privately and confidentially.

"Those conversations," the source said, "are happening daily."

Read rest of story here.

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