Sports World Full of Obama Fans

Usually politically quiet, sports stars come out in favor of new prez
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2009 12:28 PM CST

(Newser) – Barack Obama's powers of inspiration and unification reach beyond the political world: "All around the country, athletes responded to the new president," Gwen Knapp writes for the San Francisco Chronicle. The inauguration sparked tears from big men who take physical punishment for a living, and Obama's rise has drawn out a group that holds political neutrality dear.

Athletes generally avoid topics that might drive wedges between teammates, but many sported Obama gear and attended inaugural events—even apolitical Tiger Woods showed up on the Mall. And some who never hid their political beliefs are celebrating as well: Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the runners whose defiantly raised fists became the enduring image of the 1968 Olympics, wept with joy.