Should professional athletes get political?

baseball

Khoi Vinh thinks it’s inappropriate for members of the World Series-bound Tampa Bay Rays to be stumping for Barack Obama today. Says, Khoi: “Tampa Bay fans of every political persuasion have the right to root for their team without the messy encumbrances of politics.”

As for me, I don’t think fans really care about such encumbrances as long as a player keeps throwing 96-mile-per-hour fastballs. (However, as a Rays fan, I’d prefer the players stay home and rest up for tomorrow night’s series opener.)

Trivia quiz: Baseball players hanging out with politicians go way back. In the picture to the left, Babe Ruth is posing with someone who was once the Democratic Party nominee for President. Care to guess? No fair googling. (Also, I don’t think the photo was made when he was running for President.)

We have a winner: Martin Kennedy provided the correct answer, Al Smith, the New York governor who was the Democratic Party nominee in 1928 against Herbert Hoover.

[The photo is from the Florida State Archives, via: Wikimedia Commons.]

  • Martin Kennedy

    Al Smith?

  • Congratulations, Martin.

  • Hudge

    Which brings up the much battered question of whether actors or performers should dip into politics. Near as I can tell, the consensus is that actors who support something you are opposed to should not. And those who support something your favor are victims of scurrilous and unwarranted attacks from the other side, who would deny them their rights as citizens.

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