Keep politics out of sports? NBA team owners don't

Keep politics out of sports? NBA team owners don’t

The Ringer examined the political donations of National Basketball Association team owners over the past five-plus years and found that despite the league’s reputation for liberal politics, more money goes to Republican political candidates than Democrats. The Ringer said a review of Federal Election Commission records showed that NBA owners “have made more than $28 million in political donations to various causes and candidates since January 1, 2015. … We found political contributions by 27 different owners (as well as 20 significant others) over a period of more than five years. Of that $28 million total, more than $14.9 million (53.4 percent) went to Republican politicians and PACs, while over $12 million (43.1 percent) was directed to Democrats.” (About $1 million went to nonpartisan issues, such as the University Public Issues Committee, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, or PACs that give to candidates from both parties.) Of the 10 owners who have donated the most money since 2015, seven directed more than 75% of their political contributions to Republicans, The Ringer noted. The owner who gave the most to Republicans is Dan Devos of the Orlando Magic. The Ringer reports that all of his $4,854,344 in political contributions since 2015 went to Republicans. DeVos’ sister-in-law, Betsy DeVos, is the U.S. secretary of education. No. 2 on the list of the biggest donors to Republicans is Gilbert. The Ringer reports that Gilbert has made $2,641,073 in political contributions since 2015 — $2,250,400 to Republicans, $345,673 to Democrats and $45,000 to nonpartisan causes. The most politically active owner, measured by donations, is Steve Ballmer of the Los Angeles Clippers, and he has an overwhelming preference for Democrats. Of the $7,946,914 that Ballmer has contributed, only $10,000 went to Republicans, leaving $7,936,914 for Democrats. MLB.com points out 20 “bonkers stats” from this unusual 2020 Major League Baseball season, and three of them, directly or indirectly, involve the Cleveland Indians. A 60-game schedule was sure to produce some statistical outliers, the website notes, “and boy, did the 2020 MLB regular season deliver.” That’s Indians ace Shane Bieber’s ERA. “Since the mound was lowered to its current height in 1969, only two qualified starters have fared better — the Mets’ Dwight Gooden in 1985 (1.53) and the Braves’ Greg Maddux in ’94 (1.56),” MLB.com says. “Of course, those two both did it in more than 200 innings apiece, whereas Bieber threw 77 1/3 innings in his 12 starts. But Bieber made it easy on the AL Cy Young Award voters this year.” That’s the road winning percentage for the Pittsburgh Pirates (5-20) and the Texas Rangers (6-24) — tied for the sixth-lowest in the modern era and the lowest since the 1945 Philadelphia A’s put up a .171 mark. The Pirates still have three road games in Cleveland this weekend, so their percentage could go even lower. That’s the San Diego Padres’ slugging percentage with the bases loaded. It’s the highest such slugging percentage of all time, surpassing the 2006 Indians’ .737 mark (the year Travis Hafner tied Don Mattingly’s single-season record with six grand slams). Write us: Crain’s welcomes responses from readers. Letters should be as brief as possible and may be edited. Send letters to Crain’s Cleveland Business, 700 West. St. Clair Avenue, Suite 310, Cleveland, Ohio, 44113, or by emailing [email protected] Sign up for free email news alerts and stay connected to important business news straight to your inbox. Don’t miss the chance to get the biggest news first! Stay connected to Northeast Ohio business news in print and online For 40 years, Crain’s Cleveland Business has been the trusted source for business news and information for Northeast Ohio’s top executives and business owners.
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