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Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Getting out the vote II

Lest you get the impression from my last blog post that every NBA player is endorsing Barack Obama for president, take note of Kings center Spencer Hawes.

Hawes is a staunch Republican and is firmly in the John McCain camp. "Keep on going. Let's get four more years," he told Elie Seckbach of AOL Fanhouse. "I look at the tax bracket and the tax things and that's a big issue that affects us especially."

And check out what Carmelo Anthony told Seckbach.

Call it the Michael Jordan Effect.

Like Jordan, who in 1990 famously refused to publicly support Harvey Gantt, an African-American Democrat running for a North Carolina Senate seat against right-winger Jesse Helms, by stating "Republicans buy sneakers too,'' Anthony claimed to be staunchly non-partisan.

"I like both, the Democrats and Republicans, '' Anthony said when asked about the historic 2008 presidential race. "Because Democrats and Republicans buy my shoes.''

In case you didn't know, Anthony has his own version of Jordan Brand sneakers.

The Republican party, of course, is most often associated with the rich and wealthy, and while many current athletes may be bucking that trend by supporting Obama, their employers are not.

Team owners across the four major sports overwhelmingly support John McCain, and they're speaking with their wallets, not necessarily their mouths. Through the end of June, owners had reportedly given or raised roughly $3.2 million for McCain, compared to just $615,000 for Obama.

Differences of opinion, of course, are nothing new between players and owners, a battle that's correctly been described as "the rich vs. the wealthy.''

No matter how you slice it, though, both groups buy sneakers, something I'm sure 'Melo's well aware of.