When you sit down to watch the Super Bowl contest between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, you may want to know that the man leading Denver to the field is a hardcore right-wing Republican.
Peyton Manning, the Broncos quarterback and former superstar for the Indianapolis Colts, doesn’t just occasionally donate to the Republican Party. In fact, Manning is a maxed out contributor to Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign.
In October of 2015 it was revealed that Manning donated $2,700 to Bush’s campaign, the most an individual can contribute. While Manning may want his money back based on how the Bush campaign has underperformed so far, it’s part of a pattern for the veteran player, who has often contributed to the Republican cause.
Over the last ten years, Manning has donated $22,400 to political campaigns, all of that to conservative Republicans. He gave $10,200 to Senator Bob Corker, from Tennessee. Manning was a superstar player for the Tennessee Volunteers. Manning also gave money to Dick Lugar, who served as a senator for Indiana, around the same time Manning played for the Colts.
At the presidential level, Manning gave money to George W. Bush in 2004, and was a maxed-out $5,000 donor to Mitt Romney’s failed 2012 presidential campaign.
Manning’s wife Ashley joined her husband in supporting Republicans. According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records, she donated to Senator Corker as well, and also gave to Jeb Bush. Between the two Mannings, she was the only one to ever donate to a Democrat, former Senator Mary Landrieu, who hailed from Manning’s birth state of Louisiana.
His brother, Eli, the New York Giants quarterback, is also a maxed-out Jeb Bush donor.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Broncos have donated $112,475 to conservative candidates and political committees. By comparison the Carolina Panthers have given $21,000 to support the right. While both teams have also contributed to liberal candidates, the numbers are much smaller — $3,500 for the Broncos, $4,000 for the Panthers.
Unlike Manning, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has not been a political donor.
Overall the NFL leans heavily in favor of Republican donors, most of that money coming from the billionaire owners who own the teams.
Featured image via Flickr