"Republicans Buy Shoes Too"

Kevin Glass

10/17/2009 1:12:00 PM - Kevin Glass
Basketball players have generally been considered the most left-leaning of all professional athletes. while professional players of all stripes (generally) stay out of politics, basketball players historically have gone out of their way to be apolitical. Michael Jordan famously said "Republicans buy shoes too" when asked about his refusal to make a formal political endorsement in a Senate race. This centrist attitude reflects a lot of basketball players' views on becoming a marketing figure.

There seems to be a new breed of ballplayer around. Starting with last year's campaign, more and more basketball players came out and publicly endorsed Barack Obama. Now, it turns out LeBron James, who has aspirations of becoming a "global icon," doesn't have much respect for George W. Bush.

[INTERVIEWER]: If there was one guy on the planet you could dunk on, who would it be? That teacher?

[JAMES]: If it doesn’t have to be a basketball player, George W. Bush. I would dunk on his a**, break the rim, and shatter the glass.

People who still support George W. Bush buy shoes too. Will this help James' aspirations of becoming a corporate legend, or will he become the new leader of athlete, the one that doesn't shy away from politics?