I am a disgruntled Philadelphia Flyers fan this morning when I discovered that Ed Snider, the Flyers’ owner, has chosen to have GOP Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin drop the opening puck at the season opener. Granted she is a hockey mom. However…
Can politics and sports be mixed? Absolutely, but it depends on how.
For example, having your own city mayor throw out the first ball is quite normal — an opportunity to be with your electors. Even having the serving president do so is quite an honour — serving the people who (in normal elections) voted for you in majority.
However, to have a political candidate come out before the election is more than casting an opening puck. It is like trying to sway voters — and all the more important as it is in one of the swing states. Here’s the story from the Flyers’ site.
Does the owner of the club have the right to impose his political views on the paying hockey fan?
What do you think of this?
Added after the match (Saturday October 11 2008):
It seems like the Palin puck drop helped the gloves drop too within two minutes of the start of the match. See here the match report. And along the way, the Flyers allowed the first four goals and dropped their home opener 4-3 against the red hot New York Rangers. It seems like the Rangers’ BLUE Line (read: Democratic) held up to the Flyers comeback attempt…. Oddly enough, in the losing effort, backup Nittymaki and Mike Richards picked up the second and third star awards for the game.