Will Smith gets political

by

2 comments
Will Smith

Photograph by Jonathan Bachman

-

Sports and politics rarely mix on a relevant level. Fans nowadays don't really look to athletes for political advice or opinions and there aren't iconic stars like a Muhammed Ali or John Carlos and Tommy Smith to lead the way in terms of political activism.

-

So when Will Smith appeared in the Saints locker room today wearing an Barack Obama shirt, you could say I was a little bit surprised.

-

"I'm definitely a Barack Obama supporter," he said. "I think we have a bright future ahead of us as a country."

-

With the state of the economy being the defining factor of this year's presidential race — and with John McCain consistently hammering Obama for raising taxes — pro athletes are caught in sort of a limbo. On the one hand, a vast majority of pro athletes come from low-income houses. On the other hand, those days are long gone and now, being in the top 5% of the U.S. population in terms of wealth, a lot of athletes vote on taxes alone. (To wit: the week before the Saints left for London, every player had a piece of paper placed in their lockers that broke down the two presidential candidates' tax plans and "Be careful what you wish for" in handwriting.)

-

Smith, though, said that there were other issues that he was focused on.

-

"The reason [taxes] aren't important to me is because I grew up and I didn't really have anything," he said. "My family struggled and I had a family members' mom that was on public service. Somebody was paying it then and if I have to pay a couple more percentages, then so be it."

-

Despite the fact that it seemed like a subversive political statement (as opposed to Jeremy Shockey's overt statement that consisted of yelling "I want a recount!" as he walked out of the shower), Smith insisted he was just trying to tease some of his teammates.

-

"I just wore it because a couple of guys are pissed off," he said. "It's been going back and forth but at the end of the day pretty much I think the whole team is happy that Barack got elected. People put the tax issue aside."

-

Aside from Shockey's proclamation and Jason David playing Obama's rally song "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" there wasn't anyone calling attention to themselves in a political sense. Which, if you ask me, is either a statement that they're scared to say anything (after all, who gets elected matters a bit more than if this team makes the playoffs) or we're not giving them enough credit.

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment
 

Add a comment