FIRST ON FOX: A trio of former professional athletes are throwing their support behind independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to take the White House.
NBA legend and 1992 ‘Dream Team’ Olympian John Stockton, Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame member Ken Ruettegers and three-time North American Enduro mountain biking champion Kyle Warner are all endorsing Kennedy for president.
The athletes said they like the cut of Kennedy’s jib — all three pointed to what they say are the independent candidate’s genuineness, honesty and openness to conversations about policies as reasons they support him.
Stockton said he believes Kennedy ‘has been put on this planet for just this moment in time’ and that there’s ‘a real need for him and his leadership.’
‘There’s a need for very smart people in these positions that have integrity that [is] off the charts, that have the stamina and strength to be able to speak and be a leader 24/7, not just on occasion or on blips,’ Stockton said.
‘And, maybe more than anything, a person that can un-divide this country,’ the NBA legend continued. ‘I don’t think we’ve ever been this divided.’
‘You look around, and you see all the different things that are pulling us apart,’ he said. ‘Finally, we have, I think, the right man there available again. What an opportunity to bring us back together.’
Ruettgers said he has met Kennedy ‘a couple times’ and that the independent presidential candidate’s ‘level of commitment to honesty’ that he will ‘bring to our federal government, to the Oval Office, to the leadership position’ is part of why he’s supporting Kennedy for president.
‘I love the fact that he loves the Constitution and the Bill of Rights,’ the Packers Hall of Fame member said. ‘Man, that seems to have been eroded in our culture over the last couple decades.’
‘And I love other things. He’s … for free-market capitalism, but he’s not for crony capitalism,’ he continued. ‘He’s also for the average American, the middle class, the people who are down and out and cannot provide for themselves.’
Warner — who won the 2014, 2015 and 2016 North American Enduro Championships — said that he believes there’s ‘a level of elitism’ currently in American politics, including with President Biden and former President Donald Trump.
‘Whereas I think that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. … does a great job of being a populist and … understanding the plight of the common man,’ Warner said. ‘I have had friends that have been in these big meetings at Facebook, at these censorship meetings with Robert, and they’re just normal people, everyday normal people, and he cares about them. He wants them to succeed.’
Warner, who is one of the independent candidate’s surrogates, said Kennedy ‘being down-to-earth and relatable is huge and there isn’t that level of elitism.’
The mountain biking champion also said he is a lifelong Democrat who grew up with a mother who ‘was on welfare.’
‘We grew up on food stamps and the only reason we weren’t homeless was because of the government,’ Warner said. ‘With that in mind, I was always a Democrat at my core.’
Warner blasted the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) choice to not host a primary debate as ‘undemocratic’ and that he was happy to see Kennedy run as an independent, despite the ‘tough road’ that comes with it.
‘But right now when you see him polling in the 20th percentile already, and I don’t think there’s even been that massive debate that’s happened,’ Warner said. ‘If he can get onstage with Biden [and] Trump … I think it will really do a lot for him, and I really do think he has a chance of winning this thing.’
Stockton said he hasn’t ‘necessarily been a part of a party, one way or another’ and has carefully scrutinized candidates and their level of belief in their platforms.
‘That’s a hard journey because it’s hard to get the truth,’ he said. ‘And … one thing I can count on with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the truth.’
‘He’ll look you right in the eye. He’ll tell you what he thinks. If you guys disagree, he’s willing to discuss it. His mind isn’t set,’ Stockton said. ‘He’s not dialed into one political way of thinking, and if you can present a decent argument, he wants to hear it and perhaps his mind changes.’
Stockton, who has met the independent presidential candidate, said he thinks Kennedy’s openness is a ‘good thing’ over a candidate who falls behind their party’s platform.
Ruettgers said he is a lifelong Republican who cast his first vote for President Ronald Reagan and that America is in ‘deeper trouble’ if the country can’t get out of the two-party mindset.
‘It’s time to make that move and that jump,’ Ruettgers said. ‘So, if not now, when? And if not … Robert F. Kennedy Jr., then who?’
In addition to Ruettgers, Stockton and Warner, Kennedy has secured the endorsements of several other athletes, including New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers and surfing legend Kelly Slater.
Kennedy has been gaining ground as he mounts his independent challenge to Biden, with a recent poll showing him outperforming both the current and former presidents among young Americans in swing states.