Which Boston Sports Figures Are Making Campaign Contributions?
Celtics coach Doc Rivers donated $20,000 to the Democratic National Committee in October. (Photo by Keith Allison on Flickr.)
Republican Senator Scott Brown recently received a public drubbing for accepting $2,500 from New York Yankees’ president Randy Levine. While this might make your stomach churn, it kinda begs the question of which Boston sports figures are forking over political cash … and to which candidates?
Though it’s still relatively early in the election season and there’s plenty of time for additional high-paid athletes and owners to get in on the act, a few names jump out for already having made contributions in 2011 and 2012.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political contributions, Patriots defensive back Josh Barrett sticks out as the only current Boston-area player to bravely poke his neck into the political arena — a place most athletes refuse to go for fear of pissing off fans, or worse, scaring off potential product-endorsement deals. In March, he gave $250 to Barack Obama.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers is clearly unafraid to let his money speak. In October 2011, he gave $20,000 to the Democratic National Committee, the single largest political contribution so far from an active Boston-area sports figure. He also gave two separate contributions of $2,500 to Barack Obama. Upstairs in the front office, however, political persuasions seem to swing in the other direction. Four months earlier, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge handed over $2,500 to Mitt Romney. And lest we forget the guys behind the scenes in Celtic Land: Strength coach Bryan Doo also backed Romney last year with a $2,500 contribution.
No Red Sox players appear on the donation list of folks employed by Boston’s major league team. However, G.M. Ben Cherington gave Obama $1,000 in January and another $200 last September. Team president Larry Lucchino and co-owner Thomas Werner each contributed $5,000 to the MLB Commissioner’s Office PAC, which in 2012 has doled out $115,500 to Democrat candidates and $95,000 to GOP candidates. Massachusetts congressman Edward Markey, a Democrat, and Republican Senator Scott Brown, were among the recipients, scoring $5,000 each.
Other notables making contributions thus far include Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who has given $12,900 to the DNC and two separate contributions of $2,500 to Obama. He also gave $5,000 to the NFL’s PAC. Additionally, former Patriot tight end Alge Crumpler gave $2,500 to Jimmy Farris, an ex-NFL wide receiver who is running for Congress as a Democrat in Idaho.
Finally, there are the Boston Bruins. Not a lot of action off the ice when it comes to political donations, but there is a single note that might make Scott Brown and Randy Levine smile: In 2011, Bruins principal Charles Jacobs gave $1,000 to Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, the honorable Senator from … you guessed it, New York.