Bil Browning

Peyton Manning: Republican?

Filed By Bil Browning | September 06, 2007 5:24 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Marriage Equality
Tags: Fred Thompson, Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning, Ruth Holliday, Tony Dungy

From former Indianapolis Star columnist Ruth Holliday's blog I gleaned this tidbit about Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning:

Manning also donated money recently to Fred Thompson's GOP presidential campaign, $2,300. Their tie is Tennessee, Thompson's home state. Manning graduated from University of Tennessee, as did Mrs. Manning, who is a native of Memphis and a generous volunteer.

As Mellencamp says, "ain't that America?"

Let's hope Peyton doesn't start shilling for vehemently anti-gay religious wrong groups and endorsing an Indiana constitutional amendment to ban same-sex civil marriage like Colts coach Tony Dungy.

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Peyton Manning (although cute and nice in public) is a longtime Republican complete with beaucoup bucks to George W Bush and many others...

Peyton can contribute to Mussolini for all I care, so long as he continues being the best quarterback in the league. I don't ask my mechanic about his politics if he's good at fixing my car -- and, even if I find out about them, as long as he isn't pushing his political views while he fixes my car, I'm probably still going to be relatively indifferent.

..and Peyton can contribute to whichever politician he wants, that's true. And I can point out who those politicians are. :)

I don't mind the Colts quarterback donating to a political campaign, actually. I think more people need to be involved in politics. I'm just saying that I hope he doesn't follow in Dungy's footsteps by advocating against a portion of his fan base.

You can be a Republican and not be an evangelical Christian...

EVERY state but Mass has voted down gay marriage. Civil Unions are fine for fiscal amnd "marital" benefits. What more do you want now? Agenda, agenda.

And I agree, who cares about Peyton's politics? But of course, as an intelligent, patriotic fellow with common sense, he's a GOPer.

Michael Bedwell | September 6, 2007 9:39 PM

Ah, Bil. Alas. It was bound to happen. Bilerico has been invaded by cockroaches, er, Repugnants.

As for football players to admire, here's a news item about a former pro who played for the Green Bay Packers, the Washington Redskins, the San Francisco 49ers, the Detroit Lions, and the New Orleans Saints. I'm honored to say I once cooked Thanksgiving dinner for him—a better man than Coach Dungy will ever be.

"Gay athlete Dave Kopay donates $1 million to University of Washington."

"UW ex-player's pledge is more than a cash figure

By Jerry Brewer
Seattle Times staff columnist
Thursday, September 6, 2007

Forty-five years ago, David Kopay was crumbling.
He was a football player, a future All-American, but he didn't even letter his junior year at Washington. He was a gay man in shoulder pads, surrounded by machismo, trapped in a world he knew wouldn't accept him. He was lost.

"That year, oh, it was black," Kopay said. "It was so dark." After all this time, Kopay still must stop an interview, sniffle and say, "I'm sorry. I get so emotional sometimes."

His pain lessens, but it never evaporates. That's OK, though. This angst focuses his mission to defy athletic custom and champion gay rights. In 1975, Kopay became the first openly gay American professional athlete in team sports. Now he's putting half of his life savings toward the cause.
Washington announced Wednesday that Kopay has pledged to give $1 million to the university's Q Center, a haven for people of all sexual orientations.

Kopay isn't one of those athletes with an extra $1 million resting in his sofa cushions, either. He says he never made more than $29,000 a season during his nine-year NFL career. He played without signing bonuses, without guaranteed money. From 1964 to 1972, he tortured his body, and during the past four years, he's had both hips, a shoulder and a knee replaced.

After football, Kopay kept getting passed over for coaching positions, so he sold cars for a while before working at his uncle's California-based business, Linoleum City, which supplies flooring for motion picture and television industries. He plans to retire at the end of this year.

The $1 million gift is "about half my estate," Kopay says. After he dies, the money will go to the university as an endowment. The interest on Kopay's donation will help keep the Q Center running, ensuring its future.

For the 65-year-old former running back, this is more than a donation. It is a chance to remove more of the darkness. "Hell yeah, it's a lot of money to me!" Kopay exclaimed while breaking from work to talk on the phone. "I struggled, and I suffered while in college because it was a different time. But it was a wonderful time, too. If I had not gone through some of that stuff, I wouldn't be who I am now.

"I owe the university everything. And I think a lot of people feel that way." Kopay became an All-American at UW. After his horrible junior season, he helped lead the Huskies to the 1964 Rose Bowl. He will be recognized as a Husky Legend during Saturday's game against Boise State.

Jennifer Self, the Q Center director, admires Kopay's dedication to UW and to improving the quality of life for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. She knows Kopay could have chosen to be bitter. Instead, he will protect others from some of the hurt he experienced.
"I believe deeply in my heart that this is an act of forgiveness," Self said. "He's saying, 'When I was there, I was alone, scared and hurt. But I'm going to give you half of my estate.' It's an amazing act of generosity and forgiveness that not a lot of people would do."

Kopay doesn't bother wondering how his college experience would have changed if the Q Center had existed 45 years ago. It's not worth the brainpower. In the 1960s, America couldn't even handle race relations. A center of this kind was an unimaginable as an iPhone.

So Kopay tried to exist. He related more to his black teammates because he didn't feel like he was "this blonde-hair, blue-eyed, all-American kid." He noticed the biting racial slurs that others would say matter-of-factly. He compared them to gay insults he would hear from people who didn't yet know Kopay was homosexual.

Kopay was more than a decade from coming out publicly, but he had his first relationship with a man in college. It was a fraternity brother, but their relationship went largely unnoticed because, Kopay says, "In my fraternity, if you got drunk enough, nothing much mattered."
During his lifetime, Kopay has seen the country become more accepting. During the past few years, however, Kopay has grown concerned by what he calls "a peel back of people's rights" in American politics. So he keeps fighting.
Thirty years ago, Kopay spoke before Congress. He's given his message to the American Bar Association and the American Association of Pediatrics. He wrote a book, "The David Kopay Story."

And he's still fighting. "I can't believe I've done all those things," Kopay said. "I'm like, 'How in the hell did I get in that position? I carried a football under my arm.' "
If he didn't carry that football, he wouldn't have nearly the impact. Kopay will always be known as a great Huskies running back. Now his legacy can extend to what matters most to him.

Michael - Just leave a link, man. That's a LOT of text for a comment. Save folks the scrolling and let them decide whether or not to read the story. Thanks!

Michael Bedwell | September 6, 2007 10:32 PM

You can't be a Republican and NOT help empower those Republicans who ARE homohaters. Actions speak louder than words. He's given to Bush which is the same as advocacy "against a portion of his fan base."

I'm glad to hear Peyton Manning is a Republican. I thought he was the type that doesn't care either way, but I'm happy he cares about the truth over selling out like many celebrities do. I'm also glad he keeps it to himself and doesn't shove his ideas down anyones throats. Democrat athletes always do that.

It's amazing how much of the internet is full of crap. You guys are starting a hate campaign over an athlete. If he was a democrat I know you would be praising him. He's a football player, not God. Maybe if you had some respect for yourself you could stop hating on people you will never know. PlEASE HELP YOURSELF, AND GET A LIFE!