Thursday December 7, 2023

Inaugural Athletes

  • Among the participants: Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller and Miami Marlins General Manager Kim Ng.
  • Also involved: NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and several Olympic athletes.
Jim Lo Scalzo —EPA/Pool
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A number of athletes will play an active role in President-elect Joe Biden’s and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ inauguration activities today. 

While athletes participating in various parts of the day isn’t new — Muhammad Ali and Magic Johnson were among those at President Barack Obama’s first inauguration — today’s sports-related lineup is extensive

Participants include:

  • Sarah Fuller, who in December became the first woman to play in a Power 5 college football game
  • Kim Ng, the first female general manager in MLB history
  • NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Olympic athletes Nathan Chen, Allyson Felix and Katie Ledecky
  • Members of wheelchair basketball program the Ryan Martin Foundation

Inauguration Day brings the Trump administration’s complicated relationship with sports to an end.

White House visits by championship teams became a political decision.  Some — like the Pittsburgh Penguins — showed up in earnest. Some — like the Golden State Warriors — declined visits altogether.

Meanwhile, 13 of the 24 Presidential Medal of Freedoms handed out by Trump went to athletes, including Tiger Woods, Babe Ruth and Roger Staubach. He also planned to award one to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, but Belichik declined it.

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