Broncos GM and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway ignited a social media storm Monday withaletter he sent on stationerybearing the team logo urging the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committeeto approve Colorado native Neil Gorsuch's nomination to theU.S. Supreme Court.
The Colorado Springs Gazette tweeted a copy of theletter Monday. In it, Elway — a longtime supporter of Republican politics— wrote in part about the right-leaningGorsuch, "Neil is a big Denver Broncos fan, and I can tell you I'm a big fan of his."
— Peter Marcus (@MediaMarcus) March 20, 2017
Because the letter had the appearance of being onthe NFL team's official letterhead, many on Twitter went full-on snark ("Well, I was on the fence, but John Elway endorses him? Surely he's qualified to be on the Supreme Court," one person joked).
Othersnoted the backlash 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick faced during his national anthem protest, a so-called "stick to sports" viewpoint in an increasingly polarized political landscape.
— Kawana #NotMyPres (@inch2high) March 20, 2017
As Elway emphasizes,Gorsuch is seen as a Western voice, and many have pointed to that — as it relates to gun rights and public lands issues— on a court dominated by Eastern judges and currently splitbetween so-called liberals and conservatives.
By mid-afternoon Monday, a Broncos spokesman made a distinction that the letter was not on official Broncos stationery and Elway's support "is independent" of the team.