Rex Ryan is powered by testosterone and a possible foot fetish — as is the entire male side of his family. Well, the testosterone part anyway. So it’s no wonder that the Buffalo Bills coach supports Donald Trump.
Ryan appeared at a Trump rally back in April, after which he said this:
“There’s so many things I admire about Mr. Trump, but one thing I really admire about him is — you know what — he’ll say what’s on his mind,” Ryan said. “And so many times, you’ll see people — a lot of people — want to say the same thing. But there’s a big difference: They don’t have the courage to say it. They all think it, but they don’t have the courage to say it. And Donald Trump certainly has the courage to say it.”
We’ll resist editorializing here to say that some of Ryan’s players and coaches take exception to that. In an article by B/R Magazine this week, the author claims that Ryan’s coaching staff is pretty bummed that their boss is a Trump guy. And many of the players are as well.
Back in the Bills locker room, however, Ryan’s staff was less impressed with the Republican candidate for president—and that their boss was backing him. A Bills player said when he learned Ryan had spoken at Trump’s rally, he simply couldn’t believe it. “Rex is such an open-minded guy, a really good person,” said the player, who asked not to be identified, fearing repercussions from the Bills. “But the fact he could back someone as closed-minded as Trump genuinely shocked me.”
The player, who is black, emphasized that teammates’ frustration with their coach’s public endorsement was not universal. But in private discussions, he said, “Some of the African-American players on the team weren’t happy about Rex doing that.”
Is that causing an on-field problem for the Bills? Well, Buffalo is 2-2 so far, in second place in the AFC East, and are the only team to beat the Patriots. So probably, no. We imagine there were locker room arguments in 2008 and 2012 as well.
Ryan responded on Thursday:
“I have no problem at all if somebody disagrees with me on my politics, or on this, that or whatever. That’s fine,” the coach said. “And I don’t hold it against anybody or begrudge anybody on their opinions over anything as well. So I think that’s a non-deal.”
Many if not most NFL players vote with their wallets. Because Republicans are most often seen as the party that wants to reduce taxes, highly-paid athletes tend to want to protect their money. But there are many exceptions. B/R Magazine:
Black players who might otherwise back a more conservative candidate said they have abandoned Trump because they view him as anti-black. Multiple players cited Trump’s embrace of so-called birtherism — the lie that President Obama isn’t a natural-born citizen — as one of several reasons they dislike Trump.
“A lot of black players believe saying the first black president isn’t really American is racist as f–k,” one player told B/R Mag.
Other B/R Mag findings:
In a straw poll, 21 of 21 white NFL players backed Trump. The only one who would go on the record, though, was Richie Incognito.
Meanwhile, 20 of 22 black players support Hillary Clinton.
The Bills play host to the 49ers on Sunday, where of course Colin Kaepernick has caused not a small kerfuffle over his refusal to stand for the National Anthem. Kaepernick has said, however, that he hates both Trump and Clinton. So at least he’s not taking sides.