Which Sports Stars Back Joe Biden and Donald Trump? – Newsweek

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Magic Johnson will hit the campaign trail to support Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden this weekend.

The five-time NBA champion will travel to Detroit and Lansing, Michigan, for two separate events to support Biden ahead of next month’s presidential election.

Johnson has been vocal in his support of Biden and has regularly used his Twitter account to urge his followers to vote on November 3. Johnson has previously criticized President Donald Trump, suggesting the president was “overstepping his stage” when Trump rescinded an invite to the White House for the Golden State Warriors after their 2017 NBA Finals triumph.

The president said he had taken the decision after Warriors star Stephen Curry had hesitated to accept the invite after explaining he did not want to celebrate the title with a trip to the White House and suggested Trump lacked leadership.

“I don’t know why he feels the need to target certain individuals rather than others,” Curry said on September 22, 2017.

“I have an idea of why, but, it’s just kind of beneath, I think, a leader of a country to go [down] that route. It’s not what leaders do.”

Curry’s stance over Trump hasn’t changed over the last three years and in August the three-time NBA champion endorsed Biden in a video with his wife, Ayesha, and his daughters Ryan and Riley.

LeBron James, arguably Trump’s most high-profile critic in the world of professional sports, has also been actively campaigning for Biden.

“I think what’s known don’t need to be said,” he saidin August.

“We are at a time where we need change. In order for change, it’s all about leadership. And leadership starts at the top.”

Earlier this month, Curry also appeared in a video with the Democratic candidate and Oklahoma City Thunder star and NBA Players Association president Chris Paul, who last month that over 90 percent of NBA players were registered to vote at the November 3 elections.

Paul and Biden visited the Carole Hoefner Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they spoke to a high school team and encouraged them to get involved in politics and vote as soon as they become eligible to do so.

From there they FaceTimed Curry—a Charlotte native who contributed to renovate the Carole Hoefner Center last year—who reiterated the importance of voting.

Curry’s head coach, Steve Kerr, has also long been critical of Trump over the last four years and last month he supported the Biden campaign by assisting a virtual phone bank to mark National Voter Registration Day in Tucson, Arizona.

Kerr isn’t the only NBA head coach to be in Biden’s camp. Newly-appointed Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers said he was honored the Democratic candidate had quoted him during his speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on October 6.

Following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August, Rivers had delivered a passionate plea for police reform, which Biden quoted earlier this month.

“I am honored that Vice President Biden chose my words as an example for needing social change,” the former Los Angeles Clippers head coach told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“These are human rights issues that we are fighting for. Every American should want social justice for all regardless of race, gender or political views.”

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and TNT’s NBA analyst and former NBA coach Stan Van Gundy have also both vehemently criticized Trump.

In September, former Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren threw his weight behind the Biden-Harris campaign, explaining the November 3 election was different from any he has experienced in his lifetime.

“I’ve never done this before—talked to anybody prior to a campaign […] This election is different,” the Super Bowl XXXI winning coach said. “It’s really different than any other election in my lifetime.

While Trump faces plenty of adversaries in the world of professional sports, he can count on notable supporters himself. Several NFL owners have long been in the president’s camp and are far from alone.

Two-time Pro Bowler Herschel Walker has repeatedly backed Trump and renewed his support at the Republican National Convention in August, where he defended the president’s stance on players kneeling during the national anthem.

“Just because someone loves and respects the flag, our national anthem, and our country doesn’t mean they don’t care about social justice,” he said.

“I care about all of those things, and so does Donald Trump. He shows how much he cares about social justice and the Black community through his actions. And his actions speak louder than any stickers or slogans on a jersey.”

Walker wasn’t the only former NFL player to appear at the Republican Convention, where he was joined by Jack Brewer, who accused the media of falsely portraying Trump as a racist.

“I know what racism looks like, I’ve seen it firsthand,” he said. “America, it has no resemblance to President Trump. I’m fed up with the way he’s portrayed in the media, who refuse to acknowledge what he’s actually done for the Black community. It’s confusing the minds of our innocent children.”

Former New York Yankees and Mets slugger Darryl Strawberry was also among the attendees at the convention in August. Strawberry, who in 2017 praised Trump for being “very gracious and caring about people” in an interview with Sports Illustrated, is one of several former MLB players to be behind Trump.

Meanwhile, former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling last year claimed his conservative political views and the fact he is a Trump supporter had cost him a place in the MLB Hall of Fame.

Last year, New York Yankees great Mariano Rivera also supported the president, claiming he was “doing his best for the United States of America”, while Washington Nationals catchers Kurt Suzuki wore a Make America Great Again when the team visited the White House to celebrate their 2019 World Series triumph.

Two-time World Series champion Aubrey Huff has also been an outspoken Trump supporter and in November last year he posted a picture on Twitter of him holding a shooting target with holes, suggesting he was teaching his boys how to use a gun in the “unlikely event” Bernie Sanders defeated Trump in the presidential elections.

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