How Politics Keep On With Sports

In honor of Election Day right here inside the United States, we’re shaking up the format of the show a little this week. We briefly discuss whether or not or now not Tampa Bay Rays supervisor Kevin Cash have to have pulled Blake Snell out of Game Six — probably now not for Nick Anderson, however it’s now not find it irresistible was the type of selection that the now-World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers wouldn’t have made. (They simply capitalized at the Rays’ misfortune.) We additionally contact on Week 8 inside the NFL, and what groups at the least appearance type of like favorites on this very bizarre year with out clean favorites. Although all 3 hosts (and our model) nonetheless ought to deliver the Kansas City Chiefs the gain of the doubt, nobody team looks quite like a sure issue. Except for negative Geoff’s New York Jets, this is, who made our survivor pool extremely difficult by means of having a bye week wherein no person can bet in opposition to them.

But for most of the show, we speak approximately a mission that FiveThirtyEight and ESPN collaborated on ultimate week: a comprehensive survey of the political donations of rich sports activities crew proprietors and an exploration of the money they use to influence the American political machine. It’s a complicated topic with a number of counterintuitive nuances. There are certainly some proprietors who are ideologically stimulated to aid a selected party, however most are looking to navigate politics to help their commercial enterprise pursuits or create social capital. Those proprietors give to both events, or to politicians which can at first seem to be ordinary matches. As polarization has ratcheted up the depth of politics, but, it’s burned away the middle floor wherein leagues and proprietors ought to avoid intrinsic ethical judgments (and the risk of fan or player boycotts) based on their donation records or celebration affiliation. No matter who wins the election, we possibly aren’t going to look an easing of the tension between social activism and the Republican party, which means team owners’ political spending will nevertheless be fraught with the capacity to alienate or anger their target market.

Finally, inside the Rabbit Hole, we look at how sports stadiums and arenas had been used as voting locations this yr. Mostly, it looks as if a whole lot of a laugh with the intention to take a selfie in Fenway Park after balloting (although it is unconfirmed if Lambeau Field allowed electorate to take any Lambeau leaps). But there may be politics inherent in the usage of sports stadiums as balloting sites, too. Our New York-based hosts would love to vote as a minimum at Yankee Stadium (apologies to the Mets, but it’s sort of a pain to get out to Citi Field), however we’re now not positive the trend will retain beyond 2020.

What we’re searching at this week:

Inside the political donations of sports activities group proprietors.

What motivates billionaire owners to donate to political campaigns?

What it looks like to vote at Fenway Park.

Sarah Shachat is Hot Takedown’s producer. @sarahshachat

Sara Ziegler is the sports editor at FiveThirtyEight. @saramziegler

Neil Paine is a senior creator for FiveThirtyEight. @Neil_Paine

Geoff Foster is the previous sports editor of FiveThirtyEight. @gwfost