Backing blue in a red state: Jazz players carefully discuss latest election results

It was almost comical listening to Jazz players tip-toeing around potential political landmines following the team’s shootaround Wednesday morning.

A day after Barrack Obama a second term as President, sports reporters gathered outside the Jazz locker room inside EnergySolutions Arena and waited to ask players about Tuesday night’s election results.

More than anything else, there were long pauses.

“We’re out of our jurisdiction when we talk about (politics), that’s not what we do,” forward Paul Millsap said. “But everybody’s got their opinions.”

Guard Gordon Hayward was rather political with his answer.

“I was proud of everybody that voted,” he said. “Whether the person they voted for won or not, I think you’ve just got to follow the leader.”

Millsap said there are political discussions in the locker room, but for the most part “everybody’s going the same way.”

However, he said all positions are welcome.

“Everybody’s got their own opinions, got their own freedom of speech,” he said. “They can say what they want to say, think what they want to think.”

Although most players were careful in how they shared their opinions with reporters, it seemed clear Utah’s locker room was blue, not red.

This, from center Al Jefferson: “Um, I think it was a a good night last night. I think President Obama (is) heading down the right direction as far as trying to get America back on its feet. I think we made a great decision by getting him back into office.”

And from Derrick Favors: “I was happy Obama won again, he was one of my favorites going in.”

Lightening the mood a little, Jefferson said teammate Mo Williams could easily run for president of the Jazz locker room.

“I’d have to go with Mo Williams for the president, he talks a lot,” Jefferson said. “And for vice president would probably be Paul (Millsap) because he doesn’t talk at all.”

Williams said he would accept the nomination and agreed Millsap would be a good choice for VP.

“He’s my enforcer also,” Williams said. “I’m a different type of president, I lay the hammer down.”



About Jim Burton

Jim Burton has worked for the Standard-Examiner since 1991. He has covered everything from the preps to Utah, BYU, Weber State and the Ogden Raptors. Currently he is the Standard's Utah Jazz beatwriter and its sports columnist.
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