Skip to comments.Election Chatter Fills Locker Room
Posted on 10/29/2008 2:23:14 PM PDT by yooper
Taxes top concern for some Packers
By LORI NICKEL
Posted: Oct. 24, 2008
Green Bay - The receivers throw down their cards and start arguing over who is cheating, who really won and who needs to deal next. The rest of the locker-room talk is focused on personal stuff, families, kids or social life.
But over the last month or so, a new topic has crept up in the Green Bay Packers' locker room and spread to the weight room, the dining hall, the treatment room:
The presidential election.
"Oh yeah, we've had a lot of heated discussions, and they're good," center Scott Wells said. "And the best part is talking about it and not worrying about hurting anyone's feelings."
These Packers know Arizona's self-proclaimed maverick from the young Illinois senator who could make history. They've watched the debates and then have debates themselves after practice and before meetings.
It's probably no different from where you work, except maybe that this NFL locker room is as diverse as any collection of people in the work force you'll find in America. These Packers are Christian, Mormon and Rastafarian. They are black and white and come from every corner of the country. They grew up in low-income families, such as Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila in Los Angeles or Wells in rural Tennessee, and in middle-class suburbs, too. They grew up in historically Democratic and Republican pockets and in some cases, have switched sides.
And forget the racial stereotypes. There are black players who are voting for Republican John McCain (or at least considering it) instead of the first black nominee from a major party, Democrat Barack Obama. Gbaja-Biamila saw poverty growing up in south central Los Angeles and he is a big McCain guy, siding with him on moral and fiscal issues.
"I don't believe in pro-choice," Gbaja-Biamila said. "I don't believe in same-sex marriage. . . . I don't believe you should be punished if you make more (money)."
The issues that matter to the Packers are the same for the rest of us, but taxes come up first. The war in Iraq wasn't mentioned.
"Taxes. There are guys in here talking about them taking 60% in taxes from us," said cornerback Tramon Williams, who is undecided but voted Democratic in the last election, before he was in the NFL. "That's a lot. That point of view I don't like, right there."
Second-year running back Brandon Jackson still remembers the first time he opened his NFL paycheck.
"It was like, what!" Jackson said. "Taxes were almost half."
Still, Jackson is voting for Obama, even though he knows Obama has promised to increase taxes for anyone making more than $250,000, which includes every player in the room.
"Honestly, it doesn't matter. If McCain wins, taxes are still going to go up. It's going to go up anyway every year," Jackson said.
Asked whom he would vote for, Wells simply said: "The one who is going to tax me the least."
Wells said being from the South and being conservative, he's always identified more with the Republican Party. He wants smaller government. He wants to keep more of his paycheck.
A few of the players estimated that the locker room was in favor of Obama by the slimmest of margins. Still, some guys just aren't sure yet.
"I like some of the things McCain is doing, I like some of the things Obama is doing," receiver James Jones said. "Like, I'm not with gay marriage, I'm not with abortions. I don't think that's right.
"To me, (the election) is not about skin color, it's what is best for this world. . . . But I am undecided because I don't like some of the stuff McCain is saying."
Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin is "a card-carrying Democrat from Massachusetts but I'm not totally sold yet. They're still working for my vote."
Problem is, Philbin is studying too much game film to follow much of the campaign coverage. When he finally does flip on the TV in the hotel room Saturday night, it's another negative advertisement bashing the other guy, and Philbin tunes out.
Defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins seems to feel the same way.
"I'm not voting," he said. "If I were to vote, I would probably vote for Obama. It seems like he'd help out a lot more people who need it. But that's tough because his tax plan would kill me.
"I voted in the last election but now my opinion of politics is those people get into the White House, they're going to do whatever they want anyway. They don't listen to the voice of the people anymore."
Assistant head coach Winston Moss said he was voting for Obama but didn't think the workplace, where he tries to maintain a team atmosphere at all costs, was a place to talk politics.
"Yeah, there are some interesting discussions in here, but I keep my opinions private," Moss said.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and receiver Donald Driver were two other guys who also didn't want to reveal their choices.
Wisconsin native and longtime right tackle Mark Tauscher wouldn't say who he was voting for, either, but admitted that he had loved the change in conversation.
"It is such a big election that I think guys are paying attention," he said. "I'm very interested in politics. You know, it's a lot like sports: Constant competition. You have to be prepared for something to come up every week. It's probably the closest arena next to sports.
"And I love getting into arguments. I just listen to what people have to say. And then I'll give my opinion on it and then usually I'll make up some facts to push my point."
"But really, it really is fascinating to hear different guys' points of view," he said.
This article wasn’t about the Dallas Cowboys.
That’s correct. It was about America’s Team.
What I found most interesting is the black players who said they are against gay marriage and abortion! It simply confirms what many of us conservatives have thought all along: that while blacks have conservative values, they for some reason vote for democrats. It doesn’t make sense!
Thompson, Petri, et al, quoted in the Press-Gazette today dissing McCain campaign for not campaigning harder in Wisconsin, although “he could still win.” Neither candidate has campaigned here since October 10. The harder Bush campaigned here the more frenzied it got and the more he lost by. So who knows.
I’m glad to hear some guys who are in the “going to be taxed to death” bracket showing some concern....
In a way it's very much like sports for me. I'm often in a similar state of mind when I read about my college,s football fortunes or McCain's fortunes.
“Im glad to hear some guys who are in the going to be taxed to death bracket showing some concern....”
I think it’s very telling that some of those guys are black players who are seeing firsthand, and for the first time, the extent to which the federal government is raping their paycheck.
I hope they carry that message back to their origins, old neighborhoods, etc, so that the message hits home. The democrat party is no friend to blacks, and the sooner blacks understand that, the sooner the democrat party will cease to exist.
I think it's like Catholic who say they are personally against abortion, but . . .
Michael Jordon famously said that even Republican buy shoes so he wasn’t going to go public with his politics.
I wonder whether a conservative athlete wouldn’t maximize their political influence by clandestinely giving to causes.
But it made me start thinking - if her entire thought process is "I wouldn't have an abortion but believe in the right of some random woman, somewhere to have the right to abort" then how does she feel about legalizing drugs, or legalizing prostitution. If killing your own baby is your own decision and doesn't affect anyone else, then why wouldn't she support prostitution or legalizing drugs, or even sex with a minor. I guess you could also add assisted suicide to that group as well. Maybe I'll ask her how she feels about these "harmless" choices as well.
Keep dreaming cheesehead.
Keep dreaming cheesehead.
I knew there was something about KGB that I liked.
I bet she believes in a lot of these things. Most Democrates I've heard opining on these matters are for them.
America’s current team was the Patriots, at least up until the last few minutes of the Super Bowl. At least it seemed that way to me.
Im glad to hear some guys who are in the going to be taxed to death bracket showing some concern....”
Not only are athletes in a bracket which will get them “taxed to death”—
They have a relatively short earnings period. 10 years is an old timer in the NFL.
Brett Favre is an anomoly. So is Kurt Warner.
Most players don’t get past 10 years.
What kind of money do they make for the rest of their years of working and earning??
I’m not a one issue voter anyway, but the mindset of “so some random woman somewhere has the right to end a pregnancy that 99% of the time was consensual sex, therefore preventable” just astounds me. The economy, national security, immigration, schools - nothing is as important as some random woman having the right to end the life of an innocent baby....