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Home - Celebrities who aren’t just fair weather fans

  Celebrities who aren’t just fair weather fans

When there’s a big sporting event such as the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup, you often get lots of so called sports-mad celebrities coming out of the woodwork. They may never have shown any interest in sport, but suddenly they’re all over it! You can’t help but wonder whether there’s an ulterior motive in their sudden and intense interest in the 100m sprint, or the Decathlon. Are they on camera to talk about the sport or creating a little more interest in themselves?

Yet it would be unfair to tar all celebrities and movie stars that show an interest in sport with the same brush. There are definitely some famous people who are absolutely passionate fans of a particular sport or team that plays their favourite sport.

Top of the tree has to be actor Jack Nicholson. He’s had a stunning career in acting, with twelve nominations for an Oscar and having three of them at home on his mantelpiece. But Jack sometimes seems to put even more of his energy into supporting the Lakers basketball team than into his acting. Nicholson has been sitting courtside at the Lakers’ games for more than thirty years and the fact that he’s an almost constant presence has made some commentators question whether he works his acting schedule to fit around the Laker fixtures. However, there’s been no official confirmation of this being the case. His two courtside seats that he has every season cost well over €100,000, but this must be a drop in the ocean for a man as wealthy as he is.

Nicholson has been known to get very passionate during the games, supporting the team, arguing with the referees on occasion as well as shouting at the opposition. It’s not known whether he has bets riding on the outcome, but the obvious choice for a celeb wanting to place bets these days is to do what most people do and use an online sports book such as 32red or bet365. That way, their wins and losses are kept discreet! For anyone who doesn’t have a celeb’s salary, it’s always worth joining a new site if you want to get a bet on as you can qualify for a free bet.

Billy Crystal is another actor who takes his sport seriously.
His interest doesn’t lie in basketball, but baseball. He’s a passionate supporter of the New York Yankees, and his favourite player when he was a child was Mickey Mantle. He once got Mantle to autograph his programme at a Yankees game. Decades on from that moment, he met Mantle on a talk show and asked him to re-autograph the same programme and the pair became firm friends. So much so, in fact, that Crystal co-wrote a eulogy for Mantle’s funeral. Crystal is often seen supporting the Yankees and in 2008 even spent a day playing for the Yankees on a one-day minor league contract. He played in the Yankees’ spring training game and faced the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Canadian singer and actor Drake got his first major acting break playing a disabled former high school basketball champ in the Degrassi: The Next Generation TV show. Since then he’s carved out a successful musical career, but Drake still makes time for basketball. He remains loyal to his home town team, the Raptors and in September last year, Drake was named as the Toronto Raptors’ global ambassador. Toronto will host the 2016 NBA All-Star Game and Drake will be a part of the event, supporting and representing his favourite team. As well as being an ambassador for the team, Drake has also been part of the design team for the Raptors’ kit.

You might say it’s easy to be a celebrity fan when you’re loaded with cash and you don’t have to deal with the everyday of life that the rest of us need to devote time too, but we have to admire the celebrities that nail their colours to the mast and get behind their team, rather than just joining in for those red letter days and events.

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