Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson is hardly a fan of President Obama’s politics. A pro-life advocate, Watson voiced support for Ben Carson early in the 2016 campaign. Still, he describes Jan. 20, 2009, as “an amazing time.”“I remember watching the inauguration with my wife,” he says. “I remember sitting there seeing this family that looked like how me and my wife and our family now look in the White House. Even to this day, it’s still this unbelievable thing.”On the other side of the political spectrum, former NFL linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo—a fierce promoter of marriage equality—had similar feelings on Inauguration Day. “From Chicago, multiracial with African descent, that’s exactly what I am,” he says. “I really felt like he represented me on so many levels.”Across NFL locker rooms, the 2008 presidential election was special. After the results came in, Amani Toomer cried. Joey Porter welled up, too. Terrell Owens and Lovie Smith each celebrated the historic moment in comments to the press. “It doesn’t get any better than this, a historic day like we have today—the first black president,” Smith said after Obama made history.The 2008 election did more than rouse intense emotion; it inspired action.Donovan McNabb, then 31,… Read full this story
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