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Kelly Slater and RFK Jr. surfing in Hawaii

Kelly Slater and RFK Jr. are pals. Photo: Instagram

The Inertia

Kelly Slater is a fan of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as a presidential hopeful. It makes a bit of sense, since they have similar outlooks on many of the pressing issues — issues around vaccines and informed consent come to mind — and recently, the two had a bit of a man-date (see what I did there?) in Hawaii.

Slater isn’t the only big name athlete that’s thrown his lot in with RFK Jr. Back in November, American Values, the Super PAC supporting Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s candidacy for President, announced that ex-Green Bay Packer Aaron Rodgers and Ken Rutgers, championship mountain bike racer Kyle Warner, and NBA hall of fame player John Stockton were all backing him.

RFK Jr., of course, is a bit of a political outlier. As the son of Senator Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, Bobby Jr., was a lifelong Democrat. In the 2010s, however, he “became increasingly estranged from the party in the as it drifted away from its traditional values.” In October of 2023, he announced his candidacy as an independent for President of the United States.

Just a few days ago, he filed paperwork to create his own political party in six states “in an effort to get his name on the ballot with fewer voter signatures than would be required for an unaffiliated candidate.” The Presidential hopeful is in Hawaii for a series of campaign events, including a whale watching trip and a voter rally in Kaneohe.

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Slater first publicly supported RFK Jr.’s campaign via social media, when he shared a clip of RFK Jr. talking about his early struggles with addiction. Slater captioned the repost simply. “The kind of person I want as a President,” he wrote. “Great message.”

Slater’s known Kennedy Jr. for a long time, it seems. “What a pleasure to finally get a surf in with @robertkennedyjr this morning after knowing each other for nearly 20 years,” he wrote on a clip of the pair surfing together. “He’s more than comfortable in the surf and he showed me a thing or two!”


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