New York Jets owner Woody Johnson made some news Monday when he said it's more important to him to have Republican candidate Mitt Romney win the upcoming presidential election than having the Jets enjoy a winning season.
"Well I think you always have to put country first," Johnson said on Bloomberg TV. "So I think it's very, very important that not only for us but particularly for our kids and grandkids that this election come off with Mitt Romney and Ryan as president and vice-president."
I admire the man for having the right priorities. Any presidential election is indeed more important and has more far-reaching consequences than a football season, regardless which party wins.
And, Johnson might be on the road to getting his wish because while Romney still has a chance to pull the upset, his Jets look cooked despite their 2-2 record. New York's best player (cornerback Darrelle Revis) is out for the year, their best offensive player (Santonio Holmes is seeing a foot specialist because there are fears he has the dreaded lis franc injury) and there are calls to replace the quarterback.
But Johnson is not the only NFL owner who has involved himself in the coming election. In fact, Johnson is not even Romney's most ardent supporter despite his words.
The NFL owner who has put the most money behind his Romney support, according to The Washington Examiner is Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.
Truth is the NFL is leaning well in the Romney camp with three times as much money donated to Romney than President Barack Obama. And Ross has led that charge, donating $100,000 to the pro-Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future, $20,800 to the Republican National Committee, $5,000 to Romney’s Free and Strong America PAC and $2,500 to Mitt Romney.
Johnson, by comparison, has donated a total of $65,700 to the Romney cause.
The owners of the Cowboys, Browns, Chiefs, Jaguars, Jets, Dolphins, Texans, Chargers, Redskins, Bengals and Cardinals have all contributed to Romney.
Obama has gotten donations from the ownership of the Steelers and Patriots. Other democrat-leaning owners such as those in Atlanta, Baltimore, and Philadelphia have yet to donate as of the last reporting period.
One interesting tidbit about the Rooney family that owns the Steelers: While Dan Rooney was all in for Obama and was rewarded with an ambassardorship to Ireland, Tom Rooney, the nephew of Steelers' executive Tim Rooney, is running for re-election to congress in Florida and he is a Republican.
NFL players have also been politically active in donating. Their donations are more evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans. Former University of Miami and current New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle has contributed $10,000 to the Obama campaign.
Current Broncos QB Peyton Manning has contributed $12,000 to the campaign of two Republican senators.