Buffalo Bills lineman Richie Incognito, who rose to infamy as the ringleader of a bullying scandal involving racial slurs while with the Miami Dolphins in 2013, has thrown his support behind Donald Trump. On Wednesday, he told Bleacher Report’s B/R Mag he plans to vote for the Republican presidential nominee because of his “tough attitude.”
“That toughness is where I identify with him,” he said.
“I think that [Trump] can help this nation get back to a world superpower,” Incognito told B/R Mag. “Where I think he could help is putting us first again and having that—it’s my mentality, too—having that tough attitude where you put America first and everyone’s thinking we’re the greatest nation in the world. Don’t mess with America.”
Incognito, who first publicly endorsed Trump in March, is one of “dozens of NFL players” B/R Mag interviewed over the past four months, whose differing opinions on the controversial Republican nominee have caused strife in many locker rooms, including, apparently, ending years-long friendships. Incognito is the only player, however, who allowed himself to be named in the story about the effect the lightning-rod candidate is having in the NFL, in particular on race relations.
“A lot of black players believe saying the first black president isn’t really American is racist as [expletive],” one player told B/R Mag, referring to Trump’s role in the birther movement.
B/R Mag’s straw poll results are startling. Every white player the magazine polled (21 in all, including Incognito) said they were voting for Trump. Meanwhile, 20 out of 22 black players who took part in the straw poll said they were voting for Hillary Clinton. Two black players said they were voting for Trump.
Unlike Clinton, Trump has been actively courting the public support of sports figures. They include: Bobby Knight, John Daly, Mike Ditka, Mike Tyson, Terrell Owens, Rex Ryan, Latrell Sprewell, Dana White, John Rocker, Lou Holz, Jesse Ventura, Herschel Walker, Mike Shanahan and so on. Even Tom Brady, who kept a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker last season, has hinted he supports the real estate mogul.
Clinton, meanwhile, hasn’t specifically courted athletes, but has racked up an impressive list of her own, including most recently LeBron James. Other sports figures that support the Democratic ticket include: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Billie Jean King, Alex Rodriguez, Jason Collins, Abby Wambach, Jason Kidd, Magic Johnson, Adam Silver and Mark Cuban.