Which NFL Owners Have Donated to Donald Trump and Republicans?

Throughout his first term, President Donald Trump has often criticized athletes who speak out on political issues, insisting the two topics should remain clearly defined and independent from each other. The ties between sports and politics, however, extend far beyond players and coaches sharing their views on social and political events.

A new report published by ESPN and FiveThirtyEight on Wednesday estimated that owners of professional U.S. sport franchises have contributed an estimated $47 million in donation towards federal election candidates over the last five years.

In the 2020 election cycle, owners have so far directed $10 million towards Republican campaigns and Political Action Committees (PAC), with $1.9 million going towards the Democratic Party. The split is consistent with historical data over the 2016 and 2018 federal elections, when the Republican campaign and Republican causes received $34.2 million, while the Democrats received $10.1 million.

The NFL ranks fourth in both overall contribution and donations to Republican causes behind the MLB, NBA and NHL. According to data from the Federal Election Commission, over the last four years NFL owners donated $5.9 million to either the two parties or campaigns affiliated with them. The lion's share of the money was poured into Republicans coffers, which received just over $5 million, compared with the $873,500 donated to the Democrats.

All donation figures are courtesy of the Federal Electoral Commission, while the breakdown of contributions for individual PAC is based on data provided by federal campaign contributions database OpenSecrets.org

Amy Adams Strunk

The controlling owner of the Tennessee Titans donated $400 to the Republican National Committee in 2016 and $25,000 to the Gridiron PAC over the last four years. While the PAC is bipartisan 62 percent of contributions in this election cycle have gone to Republican causes.

Michael Bidwill

The principal owner of the Arizona Cardinals has donated $74,900 to Republican causes this year and contributed $3,500 to Democratic campaigns.

Mike Brown

The owner of the Cincinnati Bengals donated $30,000 to the Trump Victory committee this year on top of $49,400 split between the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican National Committee. Brown has also contributed to a host of campaigns backing Republican candidates in senatorial and congressional races over the last four years.

Mike Brown, Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown looks on during the team's rookie camp at Paul Brown Stadium on May 11, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Joe Robbins/Getty

Glazer family

Various members of the family that controls the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have contributed to Republican campaigns over the years, with Ed Glazer donating $50,000 to Trump Victory in 2016. Glazer has also donated $2,800 to the Republican-leaning committee WinRed this season and has backed a host of Republican candidates in Congressional races. Bryan and Darcie Glazer, meanwhile, have donated a combined $22,000 to Charlie Crist's campaigns for Congress in 2016, 2018 and 2020.

The family has donated a combined $65,000 to the Gridiron PAC over the current election cycle.

James Haslam

The Cleveland Browns owner personally donated $100,000 to Trump's inaugural committee, while his company Pilot Travel Centers contributed a further $300,000. According to FEC data, over the last four years Haslam has made 100 separate contributions to a variety of Republican candidates and committees.

This year, Haslam has committed $688,000 to various Republican campaigns and committees.

Clark Hunt

The part owner, chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs has made several contributions to Republican causes over the years. In 2016, he donated a combined $26,400, over a third of which went to the Keep The Senate Red committee, while two years later he poured $15,800 into Republican coffers, including $2,700 to the campaign backing Ted Cruz (R-TX) race to be reelected to the Senate. So far this year Hunt has donated $5,600 to the Cornyn Majority Committee, backing incumbent senator John Cornyn (R-TX).

Shad Khan

Like some of his NFL counterparts, the Jacksonville Jaguars owner also donated $1 million to Trump's inaugural committee.

However, last year Khan distanced himself from the president's approach on social issues and does not feature in the FEC's breakdown of contributors in the lead-up to next week's election.

Robert Kraft

Trump has often boasted about his friendship with the New England Patriots owner, whose company donated approximately $1 million to Trump's inaugural committee.

Kraft, however, has donated $5,000 to Democratic causes in the lead-up to the November 3 election, with the same amount going to the Gridiron PAC.

Stan Kroenke

The Los Angeles Rams owner committed $1 million to Trump's inauguration campaign in 2016, when he also donated $15,000 to the Gridiron committee and $100,000 to Hillary Clinton's victory fund and $33,400 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Woody Johnson and Christopher Johnson

The current U.S. ambassador to the U.K. and New York Jets owner donated around $1.5 million to Trump's inaugural campaign and campaign committees and in May last year he donated a further $360,000 to Trump Victory, a joint committee set up by Trump and the Republican Party. His brother Christopher donated $2,600 to the Country First PAC in 2016, when 100 percent of the PAC contributions went towards Republican causes.

Jerry Jones

FEC data shows that Glenstone LP, a firm linked to the Dallas Cowboys owner and registered at the same address as the Cowboys, donated over $1 million to Trump's inaugural committee. Jones himself has donated in personal capacity to campaigns backing a number of Republican candidates in races to Congress and the Senate to the tune of around $15,000 over the last four years and in 2016 he contributed $200,000 to the pro-Republican America Leads PAC.

Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys
Team owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys talks with the media during a press conference at the Ford Center at The Star on January 8 in Frisco, Texas. Tom Pennington/Getty

McNair family

The late owner of the Houston Texans, Robert McNair, outdid all his counterparts by donating over $1.5 million to Trump's inaugural committee, his campaign and Trump Victory over a two-year span from 2016.

His wife, Janice, the current Texans owner, donated $449,000 to Trump Victory four years ago and this year donated $10,000 to the Harris County Republican Party Federal Committee. Her son cal, the current chairman and CEO of the Texans, has donated $17,800 to Republican causes over the last four years.

Stephen Ross

According to the Washington Post, the owner of the Miami Dolphins hosted two separate fundraising events for Trump in August last year, which raised $12 million.

So far this year, Ross has donated $81,500 to Republican causes, including $50,000 to the Republican National Committee, but has also donated $20,000 to various Democratic candidates.

Dan Snyder

The owner of the Washington Football Team donated $1.1 million to Trump's inaugural committee and Trump victory and over the last four years he has backed a number of Republican causes, donating $100,000 to the Right to Rise USA committee in 2016 and a combined $15,000 to the Gridiron PAC in 2016 and 2018.

Dean Spanos

Like many of his NFL counterparts, the Los Angeles Chargers owner is a contributor to the Gridiron PAC, to which he has donated a combined $25,000 over the last four years. Spanos has also backed several Congressional races to the tune of a combined $49,950 between 2016 and 2020. Ahead of the November 3 election, Spanos has donated $5,620 to the Republican PAC WinRed and $37,500 to the Take Back The House committee.

Spanos also donated $250 towards Democratic causes this year.

David Tepper

The owner of the Carolina Panthers has not directly donated to Trump but this year contributed $200,000 to the Republican-leaning American Unity PAC.