Former NFL player Dhani Jones announced Thursday that he’s throwing his support behind Democratic presidential candidate and .
Jones, a former linebacker who played 11 seasons in the NFL and at the collegiate level for the University of Michigan, told CBS news that he’s “jumping in the boat” with Bloomberg.
“He’s that leader that is going to adjust the sails of our current political climate,” Jones told CBS News in an interview. “When you think about entrepreneurship, he’s talking about businesses, he’s talking about the cultural divide, economic equality. There’s so many things that need to be adjusted and Mike has done that before.”
Bloomberg has received a series of high-profile endorsements in recent days, including from actors Sam Waterston and Michael Douglas, along with longtime Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush.
During his NFL career, Jones played for several teams including the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints and the Cincinnati Bengals. After retiring from professional football, Jones went on to start his own small businesses and philanthropic endeavors. He told CBS News that he first met Bloomberg when he was playing football in New York through their involvements in some philanthropic organizations.
“We started to interact and we were talking about recidivism and we were talking about criminal justice reform and we were talking about incarceration rates and how we need to change that,” he said.
“And we were talking about the amount of African- American families that are affected by those that have got into the prison system and then come out and not have had he sort of jobs and opportunities in order to transition into workforce.”
As the campaign heats up with voting set to begin in a matter of weeks, Jones joins a growing list of celebrity endorsers hitting the campaign trail. Bloomberg will skip the first four voting states and instead focus on delegate rich Super Tuesday states and some Midwestern battle ground states won by President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
Jones will campaign for Bloomberg in the Midwest. A campaign spokesperson told CBS News, “Dhani has deep ties to the Midwest, having been there since college, and playing for Michigan and the Bengals. He was also a co-founder of a company called the Hillman Accelerator which is the first business accelerator program in the Midwest that provides support exclusively to this demographic.”