LB Jonathan Casillas says he's not voting

Posted by GARY ESTWICK on November 1, 2012 

Saints linebacker Jonathan Casillas was asked Thursday afternoon if he's following the 2012 Presidential election. 

After all, he hails from New Jersey, a potential battleground state; while President Barack Obama won the state by 15 percentage points in 2008, Gov. Chris Christie is a close Mitt Romney ally.

Casillas' answer? 

No, not really. He didn't plan to vote. In fact, he said he's never voted for president.

"I kind of don't want to go in where I'm going to vote for somebody - like I know a lot of people are voting just because," Casillas, 25, said. "They don't really have no reason why they're voting ...some people vote because of color, which is sometimes fine, in some people's case. 

"Since I don't really follow it as much as I should, I'm probably not going to vote this year."

Certainly not the answer I expected to hear. 

I will never ridicule an athlete for telling the truth; I may not agree with what they say, but I asked the question, not them. So it would be unfair to criticize Casillas for making political comments. Sure, he's an athlete, paid to run fast and hit people. But, he's also an American, and he has a right to his opinion - right or wrong. And I asked him. 

Earlier in the day, Saints quarterback Drew Brees was asked a similar question, but declined to answer. Brees said he tries to stay politically neutral (publicly) so comments will not affect his charity foundation. 

The Saints locker room is a mixture of Democrats and Republicans - not to take too much shine from Team Romney, but some are Republicans because of their six and seven-figure salaries, not because of Obama's track record in the White House.

Back to Casillas... So, I asked if he wasn't going to vote because he didn't have enough time to make an informed decision. Let's face it: whether you're a Democrat, Republican or Independent, undecided or uninformed, shifting through campaign material, news stories and debate rhetoric is tiring. It's hard to know who's telling the truth - from whether Americans will benefit from Obamacare to if more can be done to boost our nation's slowly-recovering economy. 

Casillas, in his fourth NFL season, spends nearly 12 hours a day at the Saints complex - from meetings to practice to more meetings.

But he said it wasn't about time. He has time. He just cares to use it elsewhere. 

"I just never really followed it," he said. "I briefly do. I might turn on CNN every now and again,  but not really, though.

"I know people always say you owe it to your country to vote or whatever, but there's a lot (of people) that aren't voting. There's a lot of people that are ignorant and voting and I'm not trying to be one of those guys." 

So, I asked Casillas, who played college football at Wisconsin, what issues are important to him. He said Family and football. 

"It is what it is," he continued. "Not that I won't have an impact, but I directly impact a lot of peoples' lives and voting really isn't doing anything for myself or my family. Not that I'm against it. I support it. I support our President we have now. But my priorities,  that's not one of my top priorities right now."

You could argue that Casillas' vote, or ours for that matter, means little unless we live in a battleground states. Louisiana, for instance, is expected to fall to Romney. According to 270towin.com, which tracks and Electoral College votes, during the last 10 elections, former presidents Bill Clinton (1992, 1996) and Jimmy Carter (1976) were the only Democratic to win this historically red state. And the Electoral College elects the president, not the popular vote. Louisiana has eight electoral votes. 

While I agree that some people vote for the wrong reasons, not voting at all isn't a solution either. I'm guessing some of his Saints peers may try to educate him on politics as we approach Nov. 6. 

 

 

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