Yankees Icon Mariano Rivera Backs Trump for President

Legendary closer Rivera receives top civilian accolade from Trump.

by Nouman Rasool
Yankees Icon Mariano Rivera Backs Trump for President
© Mark Wilson/Getty Images

New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera gives the official stamp of endorsement to Donald Trump for this year's presidential elections. Now, that's huge support coming from the sports world. Rivera, baseball's all-time saves leader, expressed his support for Trump in an appearance on WABC radio's "Sid & Friends in the Morning." In speaking with host Sid Rosenberg, Rivera glorified his relationship with the former president, saying, "President Trump, he's my friend.

I can't deny that. I'll tell that to anybody. Before he was the president, he was my friend. Because of that, I'm going to vote for him." This is now seen as a key endorsement, and if Trump does make a run against current President Joe Biden, it will have to be one of many such endorsements.

Rivera's Presidential Honor

In 2019, Trump awarded Rivera the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States. During a pomp- and circumstance-filled ceremony, Trump an avid Yankees fan said Rivera was probably the greatest athlete to ever live, a man of extraordinary humility and faith.

"That from an amazing career of Mariano, he stayed a very humble man with a very, very deep Christian faith. The Lord doesn't look at wealth, and the Lord does not look at fame. The Lord looks at goodness and love in our hearts," said Trump, extolling Rivera's character as much as his athletic skills.

Rivera is a five-time World Series champion, whose 19-year MLB career—all with the Yankees—saw him record 652 saves. His career on the field, where he is the all-time leader in saves, made him into one of the greats but also helped him gain respect as a philanthropist and man of the community.

Reflecting upon receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, it was an absolutely stunning moment for Rivera. This honor really stamps in a career well done both on and off the diamond. He joins fellow sports greats who have earned the distinction, including Tiger Woods and Jerry West.

That some people, after all, would be influenced by Rivera's endorsement—given he is a popular figure in the sports community—coming from his personal testimonial regarding Trump's character. In the heat of the political season, endorsements like that of Rivera would be central in the buildup to polls and also in reference to the forming of alliances and shaping of perceptions.