The NHL’s Nashville Predators are receiving some blowback for their decision to formally endorse Nashville mayoral candidate David Briley. Briley, a Democrat, is running for special election later this month.
On Wednesday, Briley’s Twitter account posted a video featuring Nashville Predators President and CEO Sean Henry and team mascot Gnash. Early polls are open in Nashville, with the special election date set for May 24.
“I want to urge everyone to get out and vote,” Henry says in the video, which you can see below. “I also want to let Smashville know that we’re supporting Mayor David Briley, and we hope that you join us for that as well.
“But regardless of who you vote for, get out and vote. Make your voice heard.”
Thanks to our friends @Gnash00 and @PREDSident and everyone over at the @PredsNHL for supporting Mayor Briley in the upcoming election! We invite all of #Smashville to join #TeamBriley on May 24. Polls are open now so make sure you get out and vote! pic.twitter.com/xv66yN727m
— Briley for Mayor (@brileyformayor) May 16, 2018
According to The Tennessean, the Preds’ endorsement of Briley comes as the franchise is negotiating a new stadium lease for Bridgestone Arena, the team’s city-owned home building.
This isn’t the Preds’ first foray into local politics. The team also endorsed a tax referendum proposal earlier this year, which led to some backlash.
Their endorsement of Briley isn’t going over well with fans who want teams to stay out of the political arena. Quite frankly, we’re not too keen on organizations as a whole endorsing specific candidates, even if players, coaches and team personnel are entitled to do so.
It will be interesting to see if this happens more in other sports.