Sports
16.6k readers

26 Professional Athletes Who Went Into Politics

16.6k views26 items

List of Professional Athletes Who Went Into Politics Ranked by Fame and Popularity. It seems that many athletes have opinions about politics. Some professional athletes have made the successful transition to become politicians later in life, after they retired from the game. Some athletes focus on local governments, while others are elected to national offices.

Who is the most famous professional athlete who went into politics? Arnold Schwarzenegger tops our list. Schwarzenegger held the professional body building title of Mr. Universe from 1968-1970 and the title of Mr. Olympia from 1970-1980. He also has had a successful career as a politician serving as the Governor of California from 2003-2011. On top of all that, Schwarzenegger starred in hit movies like “Terminator” and “The Running Man.”

Several NBA players have also went into politics. Kevin Johnson played basketball in the NBA, from 1987-2000, for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns. He is the current Mayor of Sacramento, a position he has held since 2008. Bill Bradley played basketball in the NBA from 1967-1977 for the New York Knicks. He also served as a United States Senator from 1979-1997, representing New Jersey.

Why do you think so many athletes go into politics? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Photo:
...more
  • Kevin Johnson played basketball in the NBA, from 1987-2000, for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns. He is the current Mayor of Sacramento, a position he has held since 2008.
    • Age: 54
    • Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States of America

    More Kevin Johnson 

    #123 of 770 The Top NBA Players Of All Time#56 of 161 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings#130 of 227 The Greatest Offensive Players in NBA History

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    Arnold Schwarzenegger held the professional bodybuilding title of Mr. Universe from 1968-1970 and the title of Mr. Olympia from 1970-1980. He also has had a successful career as a politician serving as the Governor of California from 2003-2011.
    • Age: 73
    • Birthplace: Thal, Austria

    More Arnold Schwarzenegger 

    Arnold Schwarzenegger Proves He Is The Most Wholesome Person On Social Media#167 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World#166 of 272 The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

  • Jack Kemp was a professional Quarterback playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Calgary Stampeders, L.A./San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills. He also served in the United States House of Representatives, representing New York from 1971-1989.
    • Age: Dec. at 74 (1935-2009)
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

    More Jack Kemp 

    #23 of 150 Athletes You Didn't Know Were Conservative#54 of 252 The Best Quarterbacks Of All Time#175 of 433 The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

  • Jesse Ventura
    Photo: flickr / CC0
    Jesse "The Body" Ventura had a successful professional wrestling career and he is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame.  He served as the governor of Minnesota from 1999-2003.
    • Age: 69
    • Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America

    More Jesse Ventura 

    #16 of 107 Famous Politicians You'd Want to Have a Beer With#21 of 86 The Best WWE Superstars of the '80s#78 of 468 The Greatest Pro Wrestlers of All Time