NCAA cancels athletic activities on Election Day

Published: Jun. 12, 2020 at 4:20 PM EDT
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June 12, 2020

(247Sports) — Over the last few weeks, the importance of getting to the polls and casting votes this fall has been emphasized all across the country. On Friday, the NCAA showed just how dedicated it is to making sure its student-athletes, coaches and others get to the polls, too.

On Friday afternoon,

that in order to emphasize the importance of voting, it would be canceling all athletic activities on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, so those individuals can partake in their “ultimate responsibility as citizens."

“President Mark Emmert and the NCAA Board of Governors recognize the important role social engagement has on driving positive societal change,”

“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. We commend NCAA student-athletes who recognized the need for change and took action though safe and peaceful protest.

“We encourage students to continue to make their voices heard on these important issues, engage in community activism and exercise their Constitutional rights. Further, we encourage all member schools to assist students in registering to vote in the upcoming national election and designate November 3, 2020 as a day off from athletics activity so athletes can vote and participate in their ultimate responsibility as citizens.”

While this move blankets every school in the country, there were some schools that jumped out ahead of the curve on the issue and had already canceled activities for that day. One of those schools was Georgia Tech, which made the decision to not hold mandatory athletic activities on November 3, 2020, according to a release sent out on June 4, 2020.

Additionally, to that move, schools had already taken the initiative to go makes sure student-athletes are registered to vote. Last week, the University of Missouri football team marched together to go and register to vote. The Tigers also kneeled for eight minutes and 46 seconds to honor the life of George Floyd, an African-American man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis.

“What we saw in that video was right versus wrong. It wasn’t political. It’s not about whether or not you’re on either side of the isle. It’s about what you saw in the video was wrong,” head coach Eli Drinkwitz said. “And the death of George Floyd — the murder of George Floyd was wrong. We wanted to stand against that. We wanted to stand for racial equality and we wanted to stand for justice.

“The way we wanted to do that was peacefully walk and show our support for George Floyd, show our support for the African-American community, show our support for the young black men on our football team. And we wanted to give them a way to promote change.”

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