One of the many reason Derek Jeter was and is so popular is that he has made a conscious effort to avoid controversy. The easiest way for an athlete to become controversial is to make a political stand, and Jeter has generally steered clear of that. He’s made a comment here or there over the years, but he’s not out there stumping for candidates.
Which is why it was so surprising when, yesterday, a candidate for New York City Council named Ronnie Cho issued a press release trumpeting Jeter’s endorsement, which included an alleged quote from Jeter saying “That is why I’m proud to support him on his run for New York City Council, District 2 and I urge you to support him too on September 12th.”
As the New York Daily News reports today, however, Jeter never said any such thing. His charitable foundation’s spokesman said “Derek does not endorse any political candidates, so this is no different. He was speaking to Ronnie’s character and the relationship he and the foundation had with Ronnie,” not providing an endorsement. And, yes, Jeter has appeared in photos and things with Cho, thanking him for support of his foundation. Political endorsements, however, are another matter altogether. It’s also worth noting that Jeter doesn’t even live in New York.
Cho called it a “communications mixup.” Given that today is the New York primary and that this correction is coming after people have already voted this morning, I guess it was a pretty fortunately timed mixup.