New York Jets owner Woody Johnson isn’t a fan of losing, but that distain for losing extends beyond his team to the upcoming presidential election. However, as passionate Johnson is about his Republican politics (don’t act so surprised, how many rich white guys aren’t Republicans), Jets fans are even more passionate.
It’s because of this Johnson might have to do a balancing act he seems unwilling to do. When speaking about the upcoming election and Republican candidate Mitt Romney, Johnson stated that Romney winning the election over incumbent Barack Obama is more important than the Jets winning this season.
“Well I think you always have to put country first,” Johnson said. “So I think it’s very, very important that not only for us but particularly for our kids and grandkids that this election come off with Mitt Romney and Ryan as president and vice-president.”
Now if the Jets hadn’t just gotten blown out by the very liberal San Francisco, this might not be a huge story. But the Jets are circling the drain already in Week 5 of the season and they’re reeling from a 34-0 beat-down. There is a quarterback controversy brewing between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, injuries are ravaging the roster and now it seems the owner has checked out, citing “God Bless America” as his reason.
Politics and football go hand in hand, that was made abundantly clear with the recent lockouts we’ve had. But that’s internal politics and not external politics and all too frequently this season we’ve had those lines blurred. From the fight over gay marriage that has put teammates on separate sides of the isle, to the owner of a team basically checking out for the season to get behind a presidential candidate.
Jets fans likely won’t sit well with this, even if they too endorse Romney as a candidate and Johnson is walking on thin ice with fans of his team that back Barack Obama. Politics have always been a dangerous game to play in and Johnson is lining up on the frontline and by doing so is folding up his Jets flag for the time being.
The question now is, how will this be received by Jets fans?