INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (AP) - The NCAA is encouraging its 1,100 member colleges and universities to give athletes the day off from sports on election day.
In response to nationwide protests of police brutality and racial injustice, Georgia Tech announced earlier this week it was giving nine fall sports teams a day off from athletic activities on Nov. 3 so athletes can vote in person. UCLA followed with a similar announcement.
At other schools, coaches and players have organized team-wide voter registration efforts, marches and rallies.
The protest were sparked by the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
The NCAA did not mandate a day off for athletes on election day, but instead encouraged schools to assist students in registering to vote and give them a day off from athletics.
Friday, the NCAA Board of Governors released the following statement on social activism:
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.