Zany sports presidential petitions
The right to petition the government is guaranteed by the First Amendment. Nowhere is the silliness of that petition prohibited.
The White House's official website has a section, We the People, that allows citizens to create petitions. Once a petition receives 150 signatures, it is publicly searchable in their database. When it reaches 25,000, it gets a response from the White House.
Here are some of the more interesting recent sports petitions.
Disclaimer: Newsday does not take a position on any of the petitions contained herein.
Petition: Pardon The Ohio State Buckeyes from unjust NCAA sanctions preventing their rightful access to a BCS bowl game
Total signatures: 1,629
Key line: “Please exercise your executive power to pardon the NCAA's excessive sanctions placed on The Ohio State Buckeyes to enable a rightful, satisfying culmination to the college football season for the American people.”
Petition: Have government intervene, moderate and expedite the collective bargaining negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA
Total signatures: 523
About: This petition focuses on the economic impact of the lockout which, the petitioner writes, is “forcing vendors, ushers, box office personnel, security guards, ice crews” and others to miss work. The petition also says it's negatively affecting bars, airports and hotels.
Petition: Declare mixed martial arts (MMA) the de facto national sports of the United States of America
Total signatures: 5
Key line: "The United States of America leads the way in promoting an organization which provides a crossroads for all martial arts ... thus bringing the world together.”
Petition: Force the Jets to bench Mark Sanchez and start Tim Tebow
Total signatures: 1
Key line: “Woody Johnson didn't vote for [Barack Obama] anyway, please step in and stop the madness before things get any worse.”
Petition: Fire Auburn football coach Gene Chizik
Total signatures: Unknown
About: The petition, which was reported on fansided.com, was removed from the government’s website after being posted. This line, quoted in the article, could be a reason why: “Either sent (sic) military drones to the athletic department and blow the whole thing up or give our boosters a $10 million stimulus package to create new orange and blue jobs.”
Petition: Bring back Chief Illiniwek
Total signatures: 3,000-plus
About: The petition seeking the return of the University of Illinois' former mascot was removed by moderators on the We the People site. The Chicago Sun-Times at least reported that the petitioner wanted the Chief reinstalled “peacefully.”