Trump is 2017’s “Most Influential Person in Sports Business.”
SportsBusiness Journal has named President Donald Trump as the Most Influential Person in Sports, “for his angry, loud and visceral rhetoric that has divided the sports industry and caused massive reaction, response and reflection.”
In its annual 50 Most Influential List, SportsBusiness Journal’s executive editor, Abe Madkour, noted that the most influential person is decided by who had the greatest influence, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative.
Madkour writes (h/t ESPN),
“There are many elements about this choice that are unfortunate,” wrote the trade publication’s executive editor, Abe Madkour. “The biggest being it’s not a positive for the industry we work in and cover. But when pressed to decide who had the greatest influence — positive or negative — on the sports business this year, it came down to an individual outside of sports who had the business on its back foot since he arrived on the political scene in 2015.”
Trump has been involved in a number of the top stories in sports this year, including Colin Kaepernick and the ongoing national anthem protests, the Golden State Warriors opting to skip the White House visit, and LaVar Ball, just to name a few.
“Nothing drove more attention to — and response from — the sports industry than Trump,” Madkour wrote. The amount of media attention was overwhelming.”
According to ESPN, last year’s Most Influential Person in Sports, NBA commissioner Adam Silver, finished second this year, followed by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus.
Only two athletes made the list of the 50 influential people in sports — LeBron James (23rd) and Colin Kaepernick, who came in at #50.