Peyton Manning is a universally beloved figure in Indianapolis. That includes people of all races, genders, and political affiliations.
However, with politics in this country as divisive as ever, Peyton's presence at a GOP retreat later this week seems to be drawing both praise and criticism - depending on which side of the fence you're on.
My feeling? Peyton can choose to speak wherever he wants, and support whoever he wants politically.
Do you think Patriots fans will be thinking about Tom Brady's friendship with President Trump on Super Bowl Sunday? Does the portion of Cavs fans who identify as Republican really care if LeBron James happened to vote for Hillary Clinton?
Sports is a good way to unite different people with differing viewpoints. Even if a game is only a three/four-hour distraction from real life issues, I've never really concerned myself with an athletes' political affiliation or personal platforms. Be your own man or woman. I can disagree with your choice (i.e. Tim Tebow's pro-life stance), but that doesn't mean you don't have the right to express it, if you choose.