What would happen if, say, the Cavaliers superstar were more involved in politics? “Given not only his celebrity status, but also his ability to communicate, he could have a big impact on elections if he wanted to,” said politics expert John Green, who is the director for the University of Akron’s Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics. It could be for a candidates’ election, or LeBron could also weigh in on issues,” Green said. “Most of his public comments have been more about issues than candidates. And, usually, what he’s saying isn’t meant to politicize the issue, although his statements have political content.” But, Green said, “in the case of LeBron, he’s the kind of person many potential voters would listen to.”
“The issues to which he’s lent his voice dovetail perfectly into what (Democratic presidential candidate) Hillary Clinton and others have been saying on these issues,” said Chris Redfern, Pepper’s predecessor who counts as a career highlight being introduced by James at The Q during one of those 2008 campaign events. “His voice is desperately needed in this conversation,” Redfern said. “I understand all of that about brand management and talking about issues rather than candidates, but as LeBron continues to speak about gun violence, education, it’s implicitly an endorsement of policies of Hillary Clinton and (Democratic U.S. Sen.) Sherrod Brown. Those are their policies.”
Calling it a tough decision, former NBA star and current Sacramento, California, Mayor Kevin Johnson said Wednesday he will not seek a third term next year now that the capital city is heading in a positive direction.
Johnson, a 49-year-old Democrat, told reporters at a bookstore in the neighborhood where he grew up that he’s accomplished what he wanted to do as mayor by stabilizing city finances and building a $500 million arena for the Sacramento Kings basketball team. “I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished,” Johnson said. “For me, if I think about the trajectory of Sacramento, I think we’re headed in the right direction. I think we have great momentum.”
The decision came as a decades-old claim of sexual abuse re-emerged as a possible liability for Johnson in a reelection bid. Last week, ESPN cited the claim while announcing it was delaying the premiere of a documentary on Johnson’s effort to keep the Kings from leaving for Seattle. The sports network said it needed to re-evaluate the film after a woman identified herself as the teenager who had accused Johnson of touching her inappropriately 20 years ago. Johnson has denied the claim, and the Phoenix Police Department investigated but did not file charges.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: This note from Donald Trump in response to my editorial is the best, though inelegant, support for my claims. Here again he attacks a journalist who disagrees with him, not by disputing the points made but by hurling schoolyard insults such as “nobody likes you.” But if you look behind the nasty invective, you find the assault still remains against the Constitution in an effort to silence the press through intimidation.
While real estate mogul Donald Trump is making most of the headlines in the presidential campaign, it’s Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush who dominate among candidates when it comes to fundraising. HoopsHype research shows that’s also true if we consider donations from people involved in the NBA only. It’s still very early in the process, but pretty much every NBA dollar donated so far has gone to the Clinton or Bush campaigns.