clear
Monday December 11th, 2017 4:37AM
1:33PM ( 15 hours ago ) Weather Alert

For pro athletes, voting can require extra effort

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey grew up in Kentucky in the 1960s, a child during the civil rights movement who witnessed the efforts of those in power to disenfranchise people of color and slow their push for equality.

So every two years, when election time arrives in the United States, Casey drives home to his players the importance of participating in the voting process.

"I tell my players 'Get your absentee ballots and vote,'" Casey said. "I remember my grandparents talking about when African-Americans couldn't vote. Or they tried to make it hard for them to vote.

"So that is a privilege a lot of people fought for, you went to jail for. Everyone should vote."

Casey has been particularly insistent since he started coaching the NBA's only Canadian team. The Raptors employ a bunch of American players far removed from their local polling place, and Casey encourages them to think ahead so the grind of the NBA season doesn't cost them their say in the election.

"That's your way of showing power as an individual," Casey said. "We can protest, but the only way you fight stuff like that is through voting. Using your right to vote."

Many athletes have to rely on absentee ballots, either because they reside permanently in a different state from their team or because they are on the road during Election Day.

Several teams have taken steps to help. The NFL's Minnesota Vikings roll out a voter-education program every two years to ensure players, coaches and staff members understand voting practices in Minnesota.

"It's a right and everybody needs to exercise their rights," said Lester Bagley, Vikings executive vice president of legal affairs and stadium development. "Make it as easy as possible, answer the questions, get them the resources, connect them. It's every two years and it's a direct message to all staff, all players to participate and here's how to do it."

The Vikings also joined with the Minnesota Secretary of State's office in a public service announcement to encourage fans to vote Tuesday, a local campaign similar to the national two put out by the NBA Players' Association featuring LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and other NBA stars.

James has endorsed Hillary Clinton and appeared at a rally for her this week. But the PSA featuring James only encouraged people to exercise their right to vote and didn't advocate for a candidate.

That's the same approach the Vikings take. Executive Director of Player Development Les Pico began the voter education program when he arrived with the franchise in 2005. This year, the team emailed players three times to encourage them to register, placed forms in their lockers reminding them to get an absentee ballot and offered help in assisting them to register in their home states.

Retired NBA star Baron Davis wrote a piece for The Players' Tribune reminding athletes to vote. He said it can be easy for athletes to skip the practice, believing their votes will not influence the outcome of an election enough to take time away from their hectic schedules.

"At this time in our country, it's easy to feel like things haven't been working for us," Davis wrote. "But the solution is not to just say, I won't do anything about it. The solution is to take what we know about improving — whether it be in sports, or in your life — and apply it to our problems."

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Online Basketball, AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Elections, General Election News, AP Sports - NBA
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Revelers say goodbye to a year of conflicts, deadly violence
People around the world are bidding a weary adieu to a year filled with political surprises, prolonged conflicts, deadly attacks at gatherings and celebrity deaths
11:58PM ( 10 months ago )
Get ready for a blockbuster sequel: Alabama vs. Clemson
Get ready for a blockbuster sequel: Alabama vs. Clemson, The Rematch
11:31PM ( 10 months ago )
With Ohio State shutout, Clemson earns another shot at 'Bama
Clemson's redemption: By shutting out Ohio State, the Tigers earn another shot at 'Bama
11:25PM ( 10 months ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Alabama 7-point favorite over Clemson in CFP Finals
Alabama is a seven-point favorite against Clemson in a College Football Playoff championship game rematch, according to gambling odds website Pregame.com
10:38PM ( 10 months ago )
Harden's has triple-double, career-high 53 in win over NY
James Harden scored a career-high 53 points with a season-best 16 rebounds and 17 assists for his second straight triple-double to lead the Houston Rockets over the short-handed New York Knicks 129-122 on Saturday night
10:38PM ( 10 months ago )
The Latest: Clemson's Heugel misses short field goal
The Latest: Clemson kicker Greg Huegel has missed a 31-yard field goal after Ohio State nearly jumped offside
9:18PM ( 10 months ago )
AP Sports
The Latest: Clemson wins coin toss, defers to Ohio State
The Latest: Clemson has won the coin toss at the Fiesta Bowl and deferred to Ohio State
7:12PM ( 10 months ago )
The Latest: Fiesta Bowl has a Buckeye-heavy crowd
The Latest: Ohio State fans have come out strong for the Fiesta Bowl
7:03PM ( 10 months ago )
Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook declares for NFL draft
Florida State running back Dalvin Cook has announced he will enter the NFL draft, less than 24 hours after the Seminoles defeated Michigan in the Orange Bowl
3:06PM ( 10 months ago )
AP Online Football
Brunson's career-high 27 lifts No. 1 Nova over Bluejays
Jalen Brunson scored a career-high 27 points, and No. 1 Villanova extended its school-record winning streak to 20 games with an 80-70 victory over No. 10 Creighton on Saturday
4:41PM ( 10 months ago )
Bibbs lifts Hokies to 89-75 upset of No. 5 Duke
Justin Bibbs scored 18 points to lead Virginia Tech to an 89-75 upset of No. 5 Duke on Saturday
4:06PM ( 10 months ago )
Austin and Doc Rivers ejected in loss to Rockets
Austin Rivers and father/coach Doc Rivers were ejected in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Clippers' game against the Houston Rockets on Friday night
1:55PM ( 10 months ago )
AP Online Basketball
Trump says he doesn't trust computers as he rings in 2017
President-elect Donald Trump says that "no computer is safe" when it comes to keeping information private
10:46PM ( 10 months ago )
New UN chief wants consensus but faces antagonistic Trump
Antonio Guterres took the reins of the United Nations on New Year's Day, promising to be a "bridge-builder" but facing an antagonistic incoming U.S. administration led by Donald Trump who thinks the world body's 193 member states do nothing except talk
9:39PM ( 10 months ago )
Revelers say goodbye to a year of deadly violence, conflicts
People around the world are bidding a weary adieu to a year filled with political surprises, prolonged conflicts, deadly attacks at gatherings and deaths of legendary celebrities
9:10PM ( 10 months ago )
AP National News
States re-examine cybersecurity after Russia accused of hack
Several U.S. states are asking cybersecurity experts to re-examine state and utility networks after a malware code U.S. officials say is linked to Russian hackers was found on a Vermont utility's laptop
6:37PM ( 10 months ago )
Revelers bid adieu to a year of conflicts, celebrity deaths
People around the world are bidding a weary adieu to a year filled with political surprises, prolonged conflicts and deaths of legendary celebrities
6:22PM ( 10 months ago )
States re-examine cybersecurity after alleged Russian hack
Several states around the United States are asking cybersecurity experts to re-examine state and utility networks after a malware code was found on a Vermont utility's laptop that U.S. officials say is linked to Russian hackers
6:08PM ( 10 months ago )
AP Online National News
UN backs Russian-Turkish Syria efforts, as cease-fire wavers
The U.N. Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution supporting efforts by Russia and Turkey to end the nearly six-year conflict in Syria and jump-start peace negotiations
1:51PM ( 10 months ago )
Rural New Mexico exports mentoring model for physicians
A mentoring program for physicians in rural areas is being tapped by the federal government to expand access to specialized care
1:41PM ( 10 months ago )
Divers assembled in search for missing plane with 6 aboard
A dive team has been assembled in Cleveland to begin recovery efforts for a small plane that disappeared over Lake Erie near Cleveland's shores carrying six people
12:42PM ( 10 months ago )
Top General short headlines
Trump sends New Year wishes to all, even his 'many enemies'
President-elect Donald Trump has an unusual New Year's message for his Twitter followers
9:21AM ( 10 months ago )
Trump meets with candidates for agriculture secretary
President-elect Donald Trump and his staff are meeting with candidates for one of the last cabinet positions he needs to fill: agriculture secretary
4:14PM ( 10 months ago )
US levels sanctions against Russia over election hacking
The United States is unleashing a string of sanctions and other punitive measures against Russia amid accusations Moscow engaged in cyber-meddling in the U.S. presidential campaign
7:41AM ( 10 months ago )
AP Elections
NY AG: Trump can't dissolve foundation during investigation
Donald Trump cannot move ahead with his plan to dismantle his foundation because state prosecutors are probing whether the president-elect personally benefited from its spending
10:28AM ( 10 months ago )
Republicans to target unions, expand school choice in states
As President-elect Donald Trump leads an attempted makeover in Washington, Republican governors and lawmakers will simultaneously push an aggressive agenda in the states
2:46AM ( 11 months ago )
Activists gain resolve from civil rights vets post-election
Some black and Latino activists dispirited by Donald Trump's election are looking to and finding inspiration from longtime leaders of the civil rights movement
2:51PM ( 11 months ago )
General Election News
Cubs' World Series title voted top AP sports story of 2016
The Chicago Cubs' first World Series title since 1908 has been voted AP Sports Story of the Year
1:28PM ( 11 months ago )
Uncertainty on eve of North Carolina 'bathroom bill' debate
Legislators who passed the North Carolina law known as the "bathroom bill" nine months ago head back to the Capitol on Wednesday to consider repealing it
7:00PM ( 11 months ago )
Date set for session to undo North Carolina 'bathroom bill'
North Carolina leaders struck a deal Monday to kill the state law widely derided as the "bathroom bill," after it tarnished the state's reputation, cost it scores of jobs and contributed to the Republican governor's narrow loss
5:18PM ( 11 months ago )
AP Sports - NBA
Brady throws for 4 TDs, Patriots beat Dolphins 35-17
Brady throws for 4 TDs, Patriots survive injury, mistake-filled game to hold off Dolphins 35-17
4:47PM ( 25 minutes ago )
No. 17 Gonzaga blows big lead, holds off Texas 76-71 in OT
No. 17 Gonzaga blows 21-point second-half lead before finally putting away Texas 76-71 in OT in consolation game at PK80 Invitational
4:44PM ( 29 minutes ago )
106 Norwegian reindeer killed by freight trains in 3 days
A Norwegian reindeer herder says that freight trains have killed more than 100 of the animals on the tracks in three days
4:41PM ( 32 minutes ago )
The Latest: Eagles win 9th straight, 1st in NFL to 10 wins
Latest from the NFL: Eagles win ninth straight Sunday by beating the Bears 31-3 and became the first team to reach 10 wins
4:39PM ( 34 minutes ago )
Bills pick off Smith in closing minutes, beat Chiefs 16-10
Tyrod Taylor threw for 183 yards and a touchdown in his return to the starting lineup, and Tre'Davious White intercepted Alex Smith with just over a minute remaining as the Bills beat the Chiefs 16-10
4:11PM ( 1 hour ago )