NFL owners lean right in political donations

I quit caring about politics once I quit practicing law.  But my apathy occasionally becomes disrupted when two of the primary diversions for folks who crave attention but lack acting ability, musical talent, and/or high-end good looks intersect.

NFL owners donate plenty of money to candidates for elected office.  According to Reuters, roughly two-thirds of the money goes to Republicans.  (Reached for comment, Hank Williams, Jr. said, “Oooooh yeaaahhhhhh!“)

A study published by the Center for Responsive Politics identified all money given by owners, their spoues, and players.  The bulk of the money came from owners.

The biggest spender was Texans owner Bob McNair, who has given mainly to Republican candidates and committees.  The Jets, Chargers, Cardinals, Cowboys, Broncos, Panthers, Chiefs, Redskins, Lions and Ravens also leaned right.

Donations predominantly going to Democratic candidates and committees came from the Seahawks, Rams, 49ers, Raiders, Eagles, Giants, Patriots, and Saints.

And now I can go back to ignoring politics.

UPDATE 10/9/10 12:20 p.m. ET:  A source with knowledge of the situation advises that Saints owner Tom Benson exclusively donates to Republican candidates and causes.  Thus, on this point, the report is wrong.  It makes us wonder whether and to what extent the report is wrong on other points.

121 responses to “NFL owners lean right in political donations

  1. Thanks for Publishing.

    Now Barry and the Boys will attack/invade the game we love. If you don’t donate democrap Barry sends the Justice department and FBI after you.

    Just ask Gibson Guitars and others.

  2. Total non-story, no one should care and it should not be surprising. So you mean that rich people tend to like republicans? I for one am shocked.

  3. 1.4 million? Wow, thats cheap. That puts them about even with the SEIU for this cycle at 1.3 million (100% dems), and about a million off of Dreamworks at 2.2 million (99% dems).

  4. It is funny that the owners and the league leans Right considering they are trying to run the league by over-regulating everything, not too mention they all want tax payer money when it is time for them to build their stadiums.

  5. The party of the rich are supported by the rich? I’m shocked, shocked I’ll tell you!

  6. Millionaires generally lean to the right. Now if these contributions were not tax deductible..

  7. doesnt really matter. anyone who has even a half a brain knows we’ll all be speaking chinese in 25 years regardless. i’ll be an old man by then….i fear for my kids though.

  8. I suspect money was donated mostly in line with which party controlled the public purse at municipal and state levels in each teams region and could do the most ‘good’ for the team.

    I’m hoping this turns into a massive display of idiotic conflating of political ideology and team trash talk anyway.

  9. Republicans hate “big government” but how does the NFL view governance?

    1. Share revenue with all members.

    2. Maintain brand value by ensuring the competitiveness of all members–small or large.

    3. Worst teams picks first in the draft.

    The NFL knows the value of its product resides in the value of the WHOLE league, not individuals.

    What if the US government had the same approach? Would they tolerate the increasing gap between the rich and poor?

    Something to think about for our friends on the ‘right.’

  10. Of course, since the wealthy tend to
    be and vote Republican,
    this is about as surprising as
    Bob Sanders being back on IR.

  11. Sounds about right.

    Who wants to give contributions to a Marxist community organizer that’s just going to kill your business with taxes and regulations in the name of egalitarianism and social justice?

  12. I like the unspoken rule of vigilantly keeping politics out of football.

    The cancer of politics, especially contemporary politics with its fierce division, should be guarded against infecting one of the last true vestiages that the vast majority of Americans can unite on, their love of sport.

    Why owners give to specific candidates can often times have absolutely nothing to do with ideology, and is just about buying votes for zoning, permiting, new stadiums or upgrades, etc etc.

    And if it truely is ideological, then the smartest route is keeping it quiet and not flaunting it in front of, and risk alienating chunks of, a diverse fan base.

  13. Rich people lean right on political donations? In other news: The sky is blue, and at 10, water is wet.

  14. I can’t believe how many people blindly buy into the rich=republican poor=democrat lies being spewed.

    Hello, Mr. Obama is the one who is going to spend a BILLION dollars in the upcoming re-election bid.

    Obama’s quote, “we will reward our friends and punish our enemies”

    This is all class war fare.

    The only person holding you back is you.

  15. anyone else notice how the Republican Elephant logo now has upside down stars instead of right side up stars like it used to? what gives?

  16. Meanwhile, Mike Brown wonders how he can get some “revenue sharing” from the local politicians.

  17. wewantmoretebowandfavrearticles says: Oct 8, 2011 11:59 PM

    Tiki Barber is flabbergasted.


    Tiki Barber is broke…he supports Dems

  18. If you had a political party that made sure you didn’t pay your fair share of taxes, you would donate to them also. Republican’s are evil!!!

  19. If you are a liberal democrat and an NFL fan, you are a bigger hypocrite than some bible thumper who gets caught with a hooker.

    The left side of politics rails against “rich people,” “Millionaires,” and “The 1%”, which almost every NFL player and head coach and owner is.

    The left rails against “masculine men,” and “to much testosterone,” and “tough guys who overcompensate”, but that is what the NFL is made of.

    The left rails against “violence” and “dumb cave men who are prone to violence”, but that is what the NFL is made of.

    The left rails against evil corporations who “don’t pay their fair share”, and yet the NFL is full of teams worth a billion dollars but their stadiums are funded by tax dollars.

    Yes, If you are a true liberal and an NFL fan, you are a hypocrite.

  20. “And now I can go back to ignoring politics.”

    I’m sure this is hyperbole, and it’s a statement that is only for the benefit of the audience, but people taking pride in a statement like this (which a lot of people do) is one of the reason the US is getting killed by almost all other first world countries in voter turnout, and why so many people feel disillusioned and unrepresented by American government.

    Football is a game. It’s an entertaining game that can hold almost anyone’s interest, but it’s effect on our day to day lives is barely measurable in comparison to politics. Politics is unpleasant and often uncomfortable, but it is way more important than anything done on the football field, and boasting with pride over ignorance or apathy toward who influences and decides the direction of our country should be seen as shameful, not relatable.

  21. You crack me up – fellow former barrister. Watching the baseball game so didn’t read all the comments -but really: Where do you think the wealthy would contribute when it comes to politics.

    Surely not to the party who wants to tax them more, righto?

    Keep up the otherwise good work. Like listening to you when you come on the Scott and Billy Ray radio show out here in San Diego.

  22. I can’t believe how many people blindly buy into the rich=republican poor=democrat lies being spewed.

    Hello, Mr. Obama is the one who is going to spend a BILLION dollars in the upcoming re-election bid.

    Obama’s quote, “we will reward our friends and punish our enemies”

    This is all class war fare.

    The only person holding you back is you.

    AMEN! Please take a moment to consider the alternate message: “You have no chance to succeed on your own, because the man holds you down. You should resent those who have more than you and accept the fact that you’ll never be one of them.” Where’s the HOPE in that?

  23. Guess all the posters equating Republican = rich have actually drunk liberally (pun intended) from the Obama Kool Aid “stash.” Wow! $4 trillion of added debt later and stubborn 9.1% unemployment just can’t convince them. Amazing!

    Anyway, based on this report, I say go Texans, Lions and Ravens!

  24. Figures, Steven Ross is too cheap to get on either list. Maybe he doesn’t need a tax break with all of the losses coming from his Real Estate holdings and the Fins!

  25. The ignorance of 99% of this country’s population’s political views is astounding. I bet most have no clue what each ideology stands for. The rest of the world laughs and snickers.

    Cue the ‘ but we’re bigger’ genius comments. Amazing.

  26. For all the “Rich people always go right” here are the top 20 contributors to Obama his 2008 cycle (sure do seem to be alot of banking firms there):
    University of California $1,648,685
    Goldman Sachs $1,013,091
    Harvard University $864,654
    Microsoft Corp $852,167
    Google Inc $814,540
    JPMorgan Chase & Co $808,799
    Citigroup Inc $736,771
    Time Warner $624,618
    Sidley Austin LLP $600,298
    Stanford University $595,716
    National Amusements Inc $563,798
    Wilmerhale Llp $550,168
    Skadden, Arps et al $543,539
    Columbia University $541,002
    UBS AG $532,674
    IBM Corp $532,372
    General Electric $529,855
    US Government $517,908
    Morgan Stanley $512,232
    Latham & Watkins $503,295

  27. “Hello, Mr. Obama is the one who is going to spend a BILLION dollars in the upcoming re-election bid.

    Obama’s quote, “we will reward our friends and punish our enemies”

    This is all class war fare.

    The only person holding you back is you.”

    So Hank calls him the enemy and you touch yourself. Meanwhile someone else says it and you freak out? The hell?

    Actually, HE won’t be spending it. That’s what donors are for. Don’t act like he’s Warren Buffett or anything. His opponent will be backed by billions of corporate (aka, people, according to SCOTUS) money but I bet you won’t even bend to fart over that now will ya?

    Class warfare…HA. Like the richest 1% really give a damn about you (and like your “liberalism is a mental disorder” brethren, so too is thinking you’re ever going to be one of those richest few. Work hard, make what you can but just because you kiss a photo of Ol’ Ronnie at night doesn’t make you wealthy).

  28. myspaceyourface says:
    Oct 8, 2011 11:59 PM
    I can’t believe how many people blindly buy into the rich=republican poor=democrat lies being spewed.
    Hello, Mr. Obama is the one who is going to spend a BILLION dollars in the upcoming re-election bid.
    Obama’s quote, “we will reward our friends and punish our enemies”
    This is all class war fare.
    The only person holding you back is you.
    And I can’t believe how people keep spouting off about class warfare, has to be one of the dumbest responses I have heard in regards to the idea of adding a new tax bracket. If class warfare were truly happening you’d have an angry mob in front of your house ready to hang your ass.

  29. Breaking news: old rich white guys tend to be Republicans. Um…thanks. In other news water is wet and the sky is blue.

  30. This is all class war fare.

    The only person holding you back is you.

    Yes, a war the republican party started long ago. And they’re winning it. The gap is getting bigger and the poor and middle class are getting worse and worse off. While corporations and the wealthy getting richer and richer.

  31. henry kissinger is god? No, Henry Kissinger is a war criminal. myspaceyourface? You’re a disrespectful tool of the capitalists. Don’t you know they don’t give a damn about you?

  32. myspaceyourface: start thinking for yourself and stop spouting Limbaugh/Fox News talking points.

  33. Hey myspaceyourface – you are politically retarded. Just because someone raises a lot of money from indivdual donors does not mean that THAT person is rich in and of himself.


  34. Guy in a hat with dangling tea bags, ” I hate big gubment. Obama, stay out of my life!”

    Cue natural disaster…flood, tornado, wild fire, etc.

    Guy in hat with dangling tea bags, “Where’s the gubment…where’s Obama?”

  35. goldrush4949: If you’re serious, you are one dangerous clod. By the way, do you even know what Marxist means? If not, ask the one that’s hiding under your bed.

  36. republicans are what is wrong with this world. thier all about greed and destroying this world we live in, democrates love the earth and want to save it and actually care about people. A republican would gladly murder and kill middle class working people for money. Its that simple.

  37. To those of you who are not up to speed, the filthy rich and the corporate media want you to believe that the #occupywallstreet protests are a bad thing. And as we all know, the first priority of the filthy rich is looking after the working class.

  38. As long as this country allows legalized bribery (campaign donations, lobbyists), our government will always be made up of a corrupt group of good ole boys whose only interests are for themselves, not this country. That goes for both parties.

  39. amazing – who would imagine that privately successful people, in charge of America’s most wildly successful sport, would actually hold principles of conservatism where, you know, business thrives.

  40. bet on the krafts joining the conservatives for next year, with barry’s treatment of Israel

  41. AMEN, myspaceyourface!!!

    I understand that most people are sheep, especially the youth and adults who spend too much time with a bong. That is why so many people out there are under the media & pop culture spell that indoctrinates them into believing that Republicans are for the “rich” and Democrats are for the poor.

    The reality of the situation is that Republicans, primarily those of which happen to be Conservative, believe that every individual is responsible for the choices they make in their own personal lives. You work hard, keep your nose clean, and carry yourself with respect & dignity. They believe that each person is entitled to actually keep the money they earn by the sweat of their own brow and do with it as they please. That benefits the rich, but it also benefits the middle class, and the poor as well. What is a Democrat? A Democrat is someone who divides people into class, sex, & race-based political interest groups. They believe they have the right to tell people what they can eat, drink, drive, what they can build, how much they can earn, what words they can use, and even what kind of lightbulb they can install at home for heaven’s sake! The Democratic Party has people believing that Corporations are evil, all the while expanding & fattening the biggest gangster corporation of all… the Federal Government!

    Ultimately, both political parties suck, but while the Republican Party has some corruption to flush out to be sure, the Democratic Party is chock full of socialists, commies, and even anarchists. It is beyond repair, but the majority of people are sheep as I said above, and THAT is exactly why we have the President & circumstances we now do.

    Bush was bad, but Obama has tripled his damage and refuses to change course.

  42. The rich donating to the republican party.. There’s a suprise..

    To bad Sarah Palin is running for office.. Then the owners would get some stupid comments from Palin along with their money..

  43. Since that certain Rooney, formerly the Rooney of the Rooneys who own the Pittsburgh Steelers is now that Rooney who was rewarded as the ambassador to Ireland in appreciation for all his financial and personal “donations” to President Obama…

    Do we need wonder which way the Steelers lean?

  44. This is refreshing. Billionaires donating to millionaires that in return bend the law the billionaires want it to be bent. It’s funny how these right wingers always get the most money from all those wealthy people. You’d think that the average Joe would at some point realize that this probably means you shouldn’t be supporting those politicians that get supported by billionaires, since those are the people they care about.

  45. myspaceyourface says: Oct 8, 2011 11:59 PM

    I can’t believe how many people blindly buy into the rich=republican poor=democrat lies being spewed.
    It is a strange myth isn’t it? I would bet it would be very tough to find a R in Hollywood which is filled with wealthy people. Same goes for top athletes, musicians, etc. There are plenty of rich people on both sides. Heck even politicians themselves!

    Also as someone else stated, these donations are often about making sure both sides have your interests as a businessman in mind regardless of your personal feelings. I think it’s a shame it works that way regardless of the party.

  46. Stop with this. Election day isn’t soon, there’s a slate of games tomorrow, and this is your headline?

  47. plenty of opportunity out there…..if someone in their 20’s or early 30’s is complaining about their current situation; maybe they should do something about it.

  48. Owners will lean in what ever direction they need to to keep the cash cow of tax dollars flowing into their private businesses. From new stadiums to police escorts for visiting teams the hand is always held out for more.

  49. myspace…Something that blew by your face…

    Dems/Obama=1 unopposed candidate

    Repubs=10 or so candidates being funded by various individuals, a majority of business and the worldwide chamber of commerce.

    Add up the total campaign dollars being spent by all GOP/Teaparty candidates and it will far exceed the amount Obama is expected to spend on re-election.

    Ever since the 5 Right wing justices of the Supreme Court made the worst ruling in the court’s history (Jan 21, 2010)…

    …”that money is speech and corporations are people”…

    (our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves)…the amount of cash in political campaigns was headed out of site, as corporations (worldwide) spend unlimited cash to influence the candidate of their choice.

    The “class warfare” battle has not started, yet…but it is coming.

  50. Hmm, no mention of your favorite owner Mr. Rooney. Or of his appointment to a cush ambassidor job by a certain far left president.

  51. Surprising that the Super Liberal Steelers aren’t on that list of “leaning to the left”. The Rooney’s are as liberal as it gets.

    What’s not surprising is the owners of my team, the Bucs, aren’t on either lists. If the Glazers don’t believe in paying their own players, they surely don’t believe in giving away their money to politicians.

  52. surprising amount of lefties on here…i thought you moonbats considered football “too violent?” don’t you have a rally to go complain at or something?

  53. NEWS FLASH: the rich white guys that belong to the %1 wealthiest support the party that hates workers, minorities and all us middle calss folks that help keep them rich.

    Maybe Occupy Wall St should Occupy Owner’s Boxes

  54. I thought Benson (Saints) was a huge Republican. Wasn’t there rumors that he wasn’t even going to take the team to the White House after they won the SB because he despised Obama?

  55. ironhawk says:

    Breaking News: Rich people want to stay rich, and keep you poor.


    Hussein the Marxist, is the one that wants to keep you poor.

  56. Well, that is interesting considering the Republicans are all about less government involvement in business and reducing government spending and the NFL is all about extorting the host cities into subsidizing the stadiums that the teams play in to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. And in the end the way the NFL is set up is about as socialist as you can get with the revenue sharing and top heavy leadership.

  57. Anyone with even half a brain knows this country has one problem and one problem only. Entitlements. If u focus on anything else, u are an idiot. Entitlement spending right now is 70% of all the $ this country takes in. And when u look at the numbers, all the $ the government has promised to various people, in 20 years the % rises to % 200. Yes we do NOT have the $. Heck u idiots, u think we can afford the % 70 we are paying now??? Of course not! We are simply printing money, at an astronomical rate. Pretty soon it wont be worth the paper its printed on. Democrats are ruining the country…but Republicans are not stopping them, so what difference does it make???

  58. This is a center/right country regardless of how many morons comment on this website.

  59. downsouth49er says:
    Oct 9, 2011 12:15 AM
    If you had a political party that made sure you didn’t pay your fair share of taxes, you would donate to them also. Republican’s are evil!!!


    The top 10% of income earners pay 70% of all income taxes. The bottom 47% pay nothing. Now, which tax payers need to pay their share?

    @steelersfan88007 – I rarely agree with a Steelers fan, but Bud, you nailed it with your “rewritten” sentence.

    grudenthediva says:
    Class warfare…HA. Like the richest 1% really give a damn about you (and like your “liberalism is a mental disorder” brethren, so too is thinking you’re ever going to be one of those richest few. Work hard, make what you can but just because you kiss a photo of Ol’ Ronnie at night doesn’t make you wealthy).


    If you think about it (which I know liberals generally don’t do), you’ll realize that top 1% requires the 99% to buy their products and services and/or be their employees to stay in that top 1% tax bracket. So, I’d say they give a damn about us. It’s sad that people can’t be happy that someone else worked hard, risked their money and future to see their dreams become a reality. (Steve Jobs, anyone?) If liberals would actually read “The Millionaire Next Door”, you might come away with a whole different appreciation for that top 1%. I know I don’t have the balls to take the huge risks these men and women have taken to become that successful. Besides, money can’t buy contentment so why all the envy and jealousy?

  60. You “occupiers” are hilarious protesting big corporations in your Gap clothes with your J Crew hats, holding signs made of sticks, Weyerhauser posterboard and Sherwin-Williams paint from Home Depot, talking on your Verizon iPhones and taking pictures and video with your Sony cameras and camcorders, eating at McDonalds and taking breaks at Starbucks.

    Relax. Poor people don’t pay taxes, and nobody’s enslaving you but you.

  61. The comments have been pretty much as expected: A slew of party propaganda talking points from both Dems and Reps occasionally punctuated by an insightful – and mostly ignored – comment about how they BOTH have, and continue to, screw up our country.

    It is 2011. Don’t you think we’ve given these two parties enough tries at leading this country? Why keep supporting either of them? They’re both failures approaching an epic scale. Give them each a few more terms and you’ll get to see EPIC FAIL right up close.

    Time to think differently.

  62. macbull – who was reputed to be Obama’s single BIGGEST campaign contributor in the 2008 election?

    The answer is Goldman Sachs. Unfortunately we’ll never know how much it was but you can sure bet it was a healthy bundle.

  63. @captaintriumph

    I’m a non Tea Party independent, but you fail to remember that the abyss we’ve fallen into was and is due to the deregulation of Big Business thru the Bush years and the Military Industrial Complex stealing (billions unaccounted for by the Pentagon) tax and public funds in the name of the war efforts in two countries. The republicans got us here and the democrats don’t have the cajones to do what is necessary and hold big business responsible for bankrupting the middle class or maybe they both are being bought off by lobbyists of Big Business and servingthe same economic interest of the billionaire string pullers. They use social issues to divide us citizens and keep us from working together to defend ourselves in this class war that they have started. Its been a great economy for the top 10%.

  64. “Relax. Poor people don’t pay taxes, and nobody’s enslaving you but you.”

    Don’t pay taxes? You mean besides sales taxes and payroll tax and social security?
    Poor people, who live week to week, pay a greater portion of their total income in taxes than rich people.
    We need to bring back the asshat of the day award.

  65. No Shat? They are business owners… what would you expect? Momma always said “young, full of heart, and haven’t earned much money yet…. democrat.. Old and wise and want to keep your money…. Republican”.

  66. Seems that Democrats and Republicans both love football..See they can agree and something…Maybe they should both field teams and every time an issue comes up let it be decided on the field…more exciting than all of the silly bickering they do

  67. F U N N Y

    He doesn’t care about politics since he gave up his law degree!

    First its not true.
    Second if it were true it would be a stupid thing to do.
    Third, if you claim to not care, I hope you don’t vote.

  68. How expected, a bunch of miserable people who think republicans and democrats are the reason they struggle in life.
    Grow up people.
    I’ll keep my guns, my money, my land, and my faith. You can keep your change.

  69. fordwuzanazi

    the military industrial complex was started by fdr during ww2 and continued on through the cold war escalating to dangerous levels during the reagan years…dont act like this is some new phenomenon.

    george washington and ike both warned of this


    henry kissinger made america relevant when this country was at its lowest point. and he was the 4th presidential administration to handle the vietnam war that covered both parties twice….if anything jfk escalated the war

    henry and nixon didnt want the vietnam war but they had to handle it and what other way was there.

  70. Since the year 2000 Dems have:

    12 Superbowl appearances

    6 Superbowl wins

    1 Dynasty

    The GOP has:

    3 Superbowl appearances

    1 Superbowl win

    1 0-16 season

    Conclusion: Working with our employees provides better results than working against them.

  71. Well, yeah, they’re business owners. Of course they’re going to contribute to the party that gives them the biggest tax breaks. A Lexus costs good money, ya know.

  72. I wonder if the liberals commenting here support Obama in his killing of American citizens?

  73. Don’t pay taxes?


    Obviously federal income tax, nimrod. Sales and payroll taxes (aside from federal income tax, which the poor get back) are state things. Social security tax pays for the entitlements that other poor people want and you will want one day so no fair whining about that one. You leeches won’t be happy until all incentive to excel is removed and everybody is in the same boat as you.

  74. Total shocker that the 32 people that employ THOUSANDS directly and create a path for TENS of thousands to earn a living related to their industry would want to support a political party that doesn’t demonize them and try to incite uprisings of their labor forces against them. Color me stunned.

  75. NFL owners lean right in political donations Was that supposed to surprise anyone? Most billionaires do. 🙂

    I quit caring about politics once I quit practicing law. So you escaped the political world when you went into football? Funny, that’s one of the things I’m trying to escape when I come here. Catch my drift? 😉

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