Top 3 Athletes turned Politicians


Every Thursday afternoon on Richmond's ESPN Radio 950, we debut a new Top-3 list.  

Today, with so many athletes (and coaches) making political statements and become more and more active in the political arena, it's seems pretty obvious that some of them will eventually get into politics when their sports careers are over.  "Pop For President?" 

Anyway, regardless of your political leanings, you've got to be impressed that in our country’s history, we’ve had some of our greatest sports stars become political leaders. From basketball to football to baseball, some of the USA’s top athletes have gone on to become Governors and Senators.

Dwight Eisenhower (Linebacker/West Point) and Gerald Ford (Center/Michigan) even made it to the White House as US Presidents. 

But what about elite, all-star Hall of Fame type players? 

Well, former NBA All Stars like Dave Bing (Pistons) who is in the Basketball Hall of Fame, is now the Mayor of Detroit. 

Kevin Johnson (Suns), the Mayor of Sacramento has also taken up a career in public service.  We remember both Dave and KJ as terrific NBA players, but today, people in those cities know them more for the roles in governing two major cities.

Tom Osborne (Nebraska Coach), Steve Largent (Seahawks), Heath Shuler (Tennessee Vols/Redskins),  JC Watts (Oklahoma), and Seven-time Pro Bowl QB Jack Kemp (Bills) served our country in Congress.

But who are the top-3?  Regardless of political affiliation, who are the greatest athletes who have achieved tremendous success in the political arena as well?




No. 3: Jim Bunning. Jim was a terrific Major League pitcher who is one of just 20 players in big league history to throw a perfect game.  He was voted to the All Star team nine times during his career and elected to the MLB Hall of Fame in 1996.  One of the great Phillies ever (his jersey No. 14 is retired for the Phils), Jim had an long political career, serving as a US Senator from Kentucky from 1999-2011.




No. 2:  Bill Bradley.  Bill was a 3-time All-American at Princeton and the 1965 National Player of the Year. He played 10 seasons with the Knicks, helped New York win two NBA titles (1970 and 1973) and he’s a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. He was a three-term US Senator from New Jersey.




No. 1:  Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yup, the Terminator tops the list.  Has any singular athlete done more with his career than Arnold?   An actor.  An author.  A two-term Governor of California. This Olympic great did more for the sport of weight lifting and body building than perhaps anyone else of his generation. 

Take a look at current NBA, NFL, and MLB rosters.  There are future political leaders on those teams today.  Who do you think will be serving our country in the years ahead?  Leave your predictions below.

William Roth1 Comment