There are some ballers who feel comfortable going political, like A-Rod, Venus + Serena, and Nole and some who don't. Now we can add Roger Federer and James Blake to the former category.
The top-ranked Swiss made it known that he's been following the long-winded US presidential race, though he refused to acknowledge which candidate he might be supporting:
I was following it more actually when I was in Switzerland and not playing [...] Now, in America, I don’t know, it’s almost too much of it.
For me it’s hard to compare, because until now I didn’t really follow it [...] So this is the first year, and so I just want to see how it really works.
I couldn’t believe that it takes that long, you know. There’s so much talk about it for like a year in advance, which is tough for the president, it seems. But, look, it’s the way it is. People are really into it. Seems like the younger generation is more into it. I think that’s key to this race.
James, who has already made public his support for Barack Obama, expressed his views on the upcoming Beijing Olympics and the rumblings of a potential boycott by some athletes over China's crackdown on Tibet:
If they tell me it's the right thing to do to go over there, I'll go over there. If they tell me it's the right thing to do to stay home, then I'll stay home. I would be disappointed, because I want to compete in the Olympics and I want to be there.Agreed - it's great when athletes take a stand. It's not like they stop being human when they pick up their racquets...well, at least some of them.
I don't feel like it's my decision to go and say, 'I know what's best for the entire country of China, I know what's best for the entire Olympic team'. I think it should be a joint decision, kind of all-for-one decision, whether every Olympic team boycotts or we all go and we represent our country with pride.
It's totally up to them [to boycott.] If they feel the need to express themselves that way, then more power to them. I'm proud of them for taking a stance, but it doesn't necessarily mean it has to be the way I do it.
(images via AP)