September 20, 2011
The Reputation Institute surveyed the public's respect, admiration and trust in 54 public figures. Of the 50,000 people in 25 countries polled, Federer came in second, just ahead of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Richard Branson, and well ahead of last-place finisher, Kim-Jong Il.
Federer's on-court success and off-court charitable work were cited as reasons for his high ranking. He polled much higher than the four other athletes included in the poll -- Derek Jeter (No. 16), LeBron James (No. 23), David Beckham (No. 24) and Tiger Woods (No. 47).
Federer's reputation is also considerably higher than that of Oprah Winfrey (No. 7), Queen Elizabeth II (No. 10), Barack Obama (No. 14) and Pope Benedict XVI (No. 26). Read the full list here.
A few thoughts:
1. If you're anything like me, you immediately thought two things when reading this news: First, The Situation was robbed. Second, what is this so-called Reputation Institute? Take it away, RI website:
Reputation Institute (RI) is the leading international organization devoted to advancing knowledge about corporate reputations and to providing professional assistance to companies interested in measuring and managing their reputations proactively. Founded in 1997, Reputation Institute has been and remains a pioneer and global leader in the development of measurement tools and in offering advice and counsel to leading companies around the world.
Through systematic research and analysis, Reputation Institute helps companies build comprehensive strategies and make operational decisions that are designed to align stakeholders with corporate objectives and thereby create tangible economic value.
In other words, it's precisely as meaningless as you first imagined.
2. I'd like to read more about the methodology of this poll, mainly to see if those 50,000 votes were just Chris Evert voting 20,000 times.
3. Mandela at No. 1, Federer at No. 2. Coincidentally, this is the way the ATP rankings looked before Rafael Nadal came around.
4. Anything you really need to know about the poll can be summed up by Angelina Jolie (No. 13) ranking ahead of the Dalai Lama (No. 14).
5. Sure, Mandela may be the most respected man in the world, but does he have a t-shirt depicting his achievements through illustration?
6. Nadal did not make the list, which is for the best since he probably would have been beaten out by Novak Djokovic anyway.
Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
• Yankees fan serves Red Sox pitcher with child-support papers
• Why an ex-Cardinals player walked away from NFL millions
• Shaun White talks about coach's famous bad-language moment