Jordan Beane, a Senior Producer for the Chargers, managed video content for an NFL franchise. But rather than moving to Los Angeles with the team, he plans to run for city council in San Diego.
Beane recognizes that there’s not a lot of intersection between sports and politics and knows that the Venn diagram crossover is slim. But he’s ready to fight that.
As his campaign kicks off, he has a treasurer to help him stay in compliance and he also has a website designer. Soon, he will hire a campaign manager as well.
“I love the escape that sports provides,” Beane told The Big Lead. “But to work in it everyday was becoming a situation where I wasn’t doing my part to fight for what I believed in on a regular basis.”
The former Chargers employee identifies as a young progressive looking for a seat at the table when it comes to decisions. While it may be unexpected for someone to leave a job in football, Beane wants a role in the conversations that determine policy.
His announcement, however, is yet another example of someone not “sticking to sports” in the media landscape.
He explained that watching sports as a visual medium feels like a fair escape from a more depressing world. But he felt that the idea that people can’t have their own opinions on social media, and being told to stick to sports, doesn’t ring true.
Beane has worked for NFL teams since he got his degree in 2007, so he had had ten years of working for football teams to process this idea. He started with Washington out of college as an intern then joined as a freelancer before he was hired-full time by the organization.
When he received an opportunity to start a digital media team for the Chargers for the 2012 season, he jumped at the chance to move to San Diego.
They went from a basic website conference when he first started to two in-house television shows this season. Along with former Chargers player Nick Hardwick, Beane co-hosted one of the shows (“Behind The Bolt”) as well.
He also helped manage content on the website as well as posting features with quality control. During games, he helped provide inside access through Chargers media.
Ultimately, however, he knew he was not alone in his existential struggle and recognized that many folks are interested in taking action.
“I was always interested in politics,” said Beane, who was originally declared as an international relations major at American University before switching to journalism. “You don’t go to school in D.C. without some interests in the workings of our government.”
When he was younger, some of his goals included joining the state department or becoming an ambassador to a small country. Like he said, “when you get bit by the sports bug” that seems to take over.
Though he enjoyed being encouraged to check ESPN and Twitter for his nine-to-five job, he still had a voice in the back of his head that was focused on other things. The turning point came in January 2016.
Before last season, Beane was in Houston for the owner’s meeting to decide which of the three franchises (Rams, Raiders and Chargers) would move to Los Angeles.
“If the team went to L.A., that’d be great for my on-camera career. But was that going to further what is going to make me happy every day? I want to feel like I’m doing something that has meaning and that’s going to make a difference.”
While he was working for the team, Beane had “no qualms” about posting politically on his personal Facebook profile and he was glad to donate to specific campaigns and organizations.
Eventually finding it hard to focus on preseason football when he was more concerned with refugee policy, his actual job began to wear on him.
“Regardless of what happened with the Chargers move, my plan was to run and try to make the world a better place. Even if I could only do it a little bit, I would feel like I was doing my part.”
He noticed that there was an upcoming race in 2018 for the city council district that he lives in, which felt like the biggest way for him to make a difference for a crucial seat in District 2.
Beane has become more involved in the community, joined local clubs and became a director on the town council he had in his Pacific Beach neighborhood. He was at the Women’s March and he attended the airport protests after the Muslim ban.
Most importantly, he is tired of complacency and didn’t want to hear opinions on politicians without stepping up to make the change and put his money where his mouth was.
“I’m terrified of climate change. I’m terrified of inequality,” said Beane. “If I wasn’t going to do this, I would have never forgiven myself.”