As Seattle faces another setback in the slow march to regaining an NBA team, local basketball fans can take comfort in the knowledge that their favorite sport's politics line up with those of the region. OpenSecrets.org recently looked at the political donations from players, owners, and executives in several sports and found that in the past three years 61 percent of basketball money went to Democrats.
When it comes to specific teams, the Sacramento Kings, who until yesterday were top contenders for a potential Seattle franchise, donated to Democrats 92 percent of the time. On the other hand, our former Sonics, now the Oklahoma City Thunder, donated 100 percent to Republicans, officially making them the most right-leaning team in the NBA. The most left-leaning team in the NBA? Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's the Milwaukee Bucks, also with 100 percent of donations to Democrats, who happen to be owned by Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl (D). Breakdowns of the political leanings of each NBA team can be found here thanks to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The NFL skews 67 percent Republican with the Seattle Seahawks tying the St. Louis Rams and the Oakland Raiders with 100 percent of their donations going to Democrats. At the opposite end of the political spectrum, the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos have 100 percent of their donations going to Republicans, with the Houston Texans at 98 percent right behind. Political breakdowns for NFL teams.
Baseball is a little harder to pin down politically. America's Greatest Pastime hews much closer to the middle of the road and can change dramatically from election to election. In recent years the MLB has shifted significantly to Democrats with 72 percent in 2010.
Seattle's Paul Allen, who owns the Seahawks, co-owns the Sounders, as well as the Portland Trailblazers, was called "The Richest Man in Sports" in 2004 by Forbes magazine, yet he hardly donates anything to political campaigns, only giving $26,800 in 2010. (In case you're interested, here's the list of Paul Allen's political contributions).