12 Famous Athletes Who Have Donated to Politics This Election

They're not as active as actors or musicians, but they also throw their cash around.


At a campaign stop in Ohio today, golf legend Jack Nicklaus introduced Mitt Romney to the crowd, saying the Republican would return the country to "the America we were."

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Nicklaus, an Ohio native, is not the first famous supporter the Romney campaign has highlighted this election, but he is the first famous athlete. In general, athletes donate less to politics than other celebrities such as musicians and actors, but several have bucked the trend this election.

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Here's a list of 12 famous athletes who've thrown money into the presidential race or other campaigns in the 2012 election cycle:

U.S. legend Jack Nicklaus watches his ceremonial shot during an announcement ceremony of Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, west of Seoul, South Korea.

Jack Nicklaus
--The Golden Bear and his wife Barbara have given nearly $22,000 to Republicans this cycle, including $2,500 to Mitt Romney, $2,500 to House Speaker John Boehner, and about $8,000 to the Republican Party.

The Chicago Bulls' Michael Jordan celebrates the Bulls' win over the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA Finals in Chicago, June 14, 1992.

Michael Jordan
--His Airness hosted a $20,000-per-person dinner for President Obama that raised $3 million last month. Jordan also gave the $5,000 maximum to Obama.

New Jersey Nets' Vince Carter goes up for a dunk during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks Sunday, March 8, 2009.

Vince Carter
--The greatest dunker of all time hosted his own fundraiser for the president this year, and has given $5,000, the legal maximum, to President Obama.

Gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi skates around the 2002 Olympics logo in Salt Lake City.

Kristi Yamaguchi
--The graceful figure skater has been bipartisan with her contributions. She has given $2,500 each to Romney and Obama this cycle.

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Denver.

Peyton Manning
--The Denver Broncos's new quarterback hasn't contributed to the presidential race, but did give $2,500 to Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee and $1,000 to Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana last year.

New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony reacts during timeout in the second half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series at Madison Square Garden.

Carmelo Anthony
--In addition to playing in the "Obama Classic," a basketball game for Obama supporters featuring several NBA players, the New York Knicks star has contributed the $5,000 maximum to the president.

Basketball legend turned entrepreneur Magic Johnson tours the Sports Museum of America in New York.

Magic Johnson
--The businessman and former NBA star has been an active political contributor this election. Magic has contributed $60,000 to the Democratic Party and $5,000 to Obama this cycle.

San Francisco 49ers' Vernon Davis practices before an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in San Francisco.

Vernon Davis
--The San Francisco 49ers tight end, and former Maryland Terrapin, has donated $5,000 to Obama and $2,500 to the Democratic Party this year.

New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing pumps up the fans crowded into New York's Madison Square Garden as the last few seconds tick away in the Knicks NBA Playoff semifinal game against the Chicago Bulls in 1994.

Patrick Ewing
--The Hall of Fame center and former NBA assistant coach has given Obama the $5,000 maximum and the Democratic Party $2,000 this cycle.

Phoenix Suns' Grant Hill in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in 2010.

Grant Hill
--Los Angeles Clippers veteran has donated the $5,000 maximum to Obama this cycle.

Texas Rangers designated hitter Sammy Sosa gestures to fans during a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels.

Sammy Sosa
--The former Chicago Cubs slugger gave $5,000 to Obama this year despite the president's allegiance to the cross-town White Sox.

Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith during the a game against the San Francisco 49ers in 1995.

Emmitt Smith
--The former Dallas Cowboys running back gave Obama the $5,000 maximum and the Democratic Party $14,250 last year.

*All data courtesy of the Center for Responsive Politics. Photos courtesy of The Associated Press.

Seth Cline is a reporter with U.S. News and World Report. Contact him at scline@usnews.com or follow him on Twitter.