Did you know there is an election coming up? Politics have become America's pastime this year, sorry baseball. In the center of it all is Donald J. Trump, who has put together a political performance more dominating than the Golden State Warriors record. Trump has been a beacon of controversy, with his racially fueled political stances pitting the citizens of America directly against each other. This November it looks like there will have a battle for the ages between Trump and Hillary Clinton. We can only hope that the losing team doesn't riot.
Trump has always been a key player in the sporting world. His casinos have been the venue for historical boxing matches, and his golf course hosts the WGC Cadillac Championship. Trump certainly hopes the general election goes better for him than his foray in the USFL. Which athletes are most likely to vote for Trump? He has received endorsements from a variety of current and former sports stars. There are those who share the same bigotry that Trump has spread throughout his campaign. But much of his support comes from past business relationships, as well as the friendships he's made through golf with people who say they love that trump isn't afraid to tell it how it is, and that he is more business than politics.
16 Jesse Ventura
Trump isn't the first complete outsider to have success in the world of politics. Jesse "The Body" Ventura paved a path for possibilities like Trump when he won governor of Minnesota in 1998. Though they definitely have their differences politically, they share some important attributes with their brash, no nonsense attitudes. They are both anti-establishment, and if Trump wins the Republican nomination, Ventura has said he would relish the opportunity to be his running mate.
15 Floyd Mayweather
'Money' Mayweather is more proud of his career earnings than his career record, and would definitely appreciate Trump's wealth. Here's a Mayweather rant on Manny Pacquiao: "We’re going to cook that little yellow chump. Once I kick the midget ass, I don’t want you all to jump on my dick so you all better get on the bandwagon now. Once I stomp the midget, I’ll make that motherf***** make me a sushi roll and cook me some rice. We’re going to cook him with some cats and dogs."
14 Richie Incognito
On my way to the @realDonaldTrump rally. Let's make America great again!!!
— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) March 19, 2016
Trump claims America is soft, and that he's the person to toughen up the most powerful nation in the world. Thus far, he is doing a much better job of getting his point across than Incognito who was asked by coaches to help toughen up teammate Jonathan Martin. The end result was Incognito getting kicked off the team in what was was the biggest Miami Dolphin scandal since Dan Marino was kidnapped in "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective". In a voicemail to Martin, Incognito threatened to kill him, and said that he would slap Martin's mother across the face.
13 Clay Buchholz
Clay Buchholz mentions the typical cast of attributes when explaining his support for Trump, with one unique difference. He praises Trump for being a matchmaker, given that he introduced Buchholz to his wife. She was helping Trump with a MMA event that Buchholz attended with his Red Sox teammates. Buchholz remains grateful and makes sure to pay Trump a visit every time he plays in New York.
12 John Rocker
Ah yes, the highly coveted John Rocker endorsement. The former outspoken MLB pitcher was an inspiration for the Eastbound & Down character Kenny Powers. Here's Rocker on potentially playing on a New York team: "I would retire first. It's the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the [Number] 7 train to the ballpark, looking like you're [riding through] Beirut next to some kid with purple hair next to some queer with AIDS right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing."
11 John Daly
Daly threw his political weight behind Trump, a friend he met through the golfing world. He, like many others, appreciates that Trump is all business. So far Trump's campaign is on the same trajectory of a Daly golf tournament. Starts off surprisingly strong in round 1, and somehow keeps the momentum going for rounds 2 and 3. If Trump is to have the same ending he will get absolutely crushed in the general election, something comparable to your typical final round 87 from Daly.
10 Dennis Rodman
Apparently Rodman doesn't hold grudges, endorsing Trump despite once being fired in the Celebrity Apprentice boardroom. Fun fact: Just 13 months ago a leading presidential candidate was the host of a reality TV show. Rodman already has a decorated diplomatic career, calling the deplorable Kim Jong Un a personal friend. He visited the brutal dictator, and played in a charity basketball game. He claims to be the unofficial American ambassador to North Korea.
9 Nick Mangold
The New York Jets all-pro NFL center recently introduced Trump at a campaign event. Life has been very kind to Mangold, his athletics vaulting him to fame and money dispelling the is myth that all Trump supporters are poor, uneducated people who don't know any better. Trump is receiving far too many votes for this to be plausible. Jets owner Woody Johnson was the finance chairman for Jeb Bush's failed campaign, and was poked fun at by Trump on Twitter. This could make for an awkward handshake at the Jets Christmas party next year.
8 Pete Rose
Trump tried to use Rose to his advantage in Ohio, where baseball's hit king starred for the Cincinnati Reds. He tweeted a picture of an autographed baseball from Rose which read "Mr. Trump, please make America great again, Pete Rose." During a rally, Trump pandered to the Ohio faithful, "We gotta let Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame." Even in the buckeye state, it is completely bizarre that Trump knows his supporters are the type who would want Rose in the hall after he completely disgraced the game of baseball.
7 Curt Schilling
Would you put a bloody sock in it already Curt? This World Series hero retired with as much revere as anyone in baseball, only to squander that admiration with some outlandish decisions. He is currently suspended as a play by play analyst for ESPN, due to a tweet where he posted a picture comparing Muslims to Nazis. When John Smoltz made the Hall of Fame, Schilling claimed it was because Smoltz was a Democrat, and that being a Republican hurt his own chances. It turns out Smoltz is a Republican, just not an intolerant one like Schilling.
6 Tom Brady
Brady calls Trump a good friend and even has a "Make America Great Again" hat in his locker. Already in the spotlight so often the past year with the deflategate scandal, Brady wants nothing more than to just concentrate on football. But unless he condemns the antics of the Republican front-runner, he will continue to receive questions about it. He has fallen short of officially endorsing Trump, trying to take the high road by saying he supports all his friends. I want to have faith in Tom, but how is anyone supposed to trust the judgment of a man who endorses Uggs?
4 Hulk Hogan
"I want to be Trump's running mate." Vice President Hogan does have a nice ring to it. Hogan, like Trump, has been in a lot of hot water recently, fired by the WWE after being caught using racial slurs in a sex tape. In classic Trump fashion, Hogan has sued the paper who reported this for $100 million. Guess what? Hogan was rewarded $115 million in the lawsuit. That's not quite Trump money but it would be a decent start for the next American VP.
3 Any NASCAR Driver
"Build that wall!" shouted legendary driver Mark Martin at a Trump rally which also featured NASCAR CEO Brian France and another Hall of Fame driver Bill Elliott. We can debate all night if race car drivers are athletes, we can't debate if NASCAR's support for Trump is good business. In a sport that already lacks diversity this will only push new fans away. NASCAR needs to reacquire the mainstream audience they had only just a few years ago when its popularity was at an all time high. The confederate flag touting traditional fan isn't leaving no matter what.
2 Alex Rodriguez
Trump is a billionaire, A-Rod is the highest paid baseball player of all time. Trump lies every five minutes, A-Rod lies when he is asked about performance enhancing drugs (until he's caught doing them... twice). Most of his career deserves a big fat asterisk, as his body was as natural as Trump's hair and skin. These two narcissistic New Yorkers love themselves more than they love anything else. When A-Rod looks in the mirror he is super excited to see himself, but he might as well see Donald Trump. A-Rod will need to have a strong season to help make the Yankees great again.
1 Mike Tyson
Tyson and Trump became friends in the 80’s when Trump hosted and promoted many highly lucrative Tyson fights. When Tyson was convicted of rape, Trump was in the midst of trying to host Tyson-Holyfield, a highly anticipated fight expected to be the highest grossing of all time. Trump appeared in Tyson’s corner claiming Tyson should avoid jail time, that the money his fights generate will help society. This outrageous sentiment gained absolutely zero traction. Tyson served three years, converting to Islam while in prison.
Tyson continues to be loyal and endorsed his old business partner, even after Trump’s call to temporally ban Muslims from entering the United States. Tyson who so flawlessly belted out “In The Air Tonight” in The Hangover has tried to repair his image recently; an image that is truly not reparable.