NCAA encourages no athletic activities on Election Day

first_img Comments The Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.The idea of postponing athletic activities on Election Day started with Georgia Tech’s Eric Reveno. A men’s basketball assistant coach, Reveno sent a series of tweets June 2 calling for Nov. 3 to be an NCAA mandatory day off. The move would allow athletes to register to vote and help them become engaged citizens, he said.Georgia Tech announced two days later that nine of its teams would implement Reveno’s idea, which was quickly gaining traction. Men’s basketball teams from Oregon and Gonzaga showed support for the day off while calling on other schools to take action. And on Friday, the NCAA announced in a statement that it encourages Election Day as a day off “so athletes can vote and participate in their ultimate responsibility as citizens.”“The recent demonstrations following the tragic killing of George Floyd showed the world the power of protest and student-athletes across the country were at the center of that movement,” the NCAA stated. “We encourage students to continue to make their voices heard on these important issues, engage in community activism and exercise their Constitutional rights.” Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on June 12, 2020 at 5:10 pm Contact Andrew: [email protected] | @CraneAndrew The mandatory day off is one of several movements adopted by athletic departments and collegiate teams across the country in response to George Floyd’s alleged murder by Minneapolis police. At Missouri, members of the football team organized a walk from campus to the Boone County Courthouse with other athletic department members. They knelt at the courthouse for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck. At Clemson, football players are organizing a protest through campus on Saturday against systemic racism and police brutality.At Syracuse, head coaches and teams have released statements and held Zoom calls while some athletes, including Bourama Sidibe and Elijah Hughes, participated in protests.“Being on a football team is a privilege, being able to speak your mind in the United States of America is a constitutional right given by our forefathers,” football head coach Dino Babers said on Thursday’s Zoom conference. “I don’t think you can take that away from anybody.”When Syracuse’s Director of Athletics John Wildhack was asked whether Syracuse would cancel Election Day practices during his Thursday press conference, he said it was being considered. Babers said they’d have to get “someone on the team to really twist my arm if we’re not going to practice on a Tuesday.”Both acknowledged that athletes would have the opportunity to vote. Other events such as voter registration drives might be another way for the athletic department to get involved, Wildhack said.last_img

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