New on Sports Illustrated: Black Coaches United Looks to Make Voting More Accessible on Election Day

August 26, 2020 at 06:23AM

Among other topics, the organization is calling on schools to help college athletes register to vote.

Black Coaches United, a newly created group of minority men's and women's college basketball coaches, is looking to turn arenas and stadiums around the country into voting places this November. 

The group, which 

according to ESPN's Myron Medcalf features Tubby Smith, Leonard Hamilton, former Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt, former Georgetown coach John Thompson III, Johnny Dawkins, Frank Haith, LSU women's basketball assistant Charlene Thomas-Swinson and Delaware women's coach Natasha Adair, also looks to provide a safe space for minority coaches who are seeking to discuss issues related to them. 

Among other topics, the organization is calling on schools to help college athletes register to vote.

"We are encouraging colleges and universities, especially those in America's urban centers, to set up polling stations on their campuses," Black Coaches United said in a statement to ESPN. "In July, the NBA's Atlanta Hawks offered the use of the State Farm Arena as a polling place following the debacle that took place during the June 9 primary election in Georgia. Many of us witnessed the long lines of would-be voters standing in a parking lot for hours waiting to exercise their right to vote. In the city of Atlanta, the number of polling stations have been reduced each year since 2014. The closing of polling stations across the country have consistently taken place in poor communities and communities of color. The long lines of voters waiting to exercise their right to vote should be alarming to all Americans that cherish democracy.

"Volunteering your arenas or student unions as a place to exercise the right to vote would be an act that affirms the statements many of you made to end systemic inequalities following the death of George Floyd."

As the November Presidential election nears, countless members of the sports world have pushed to make voting more accessible across the country. Among other groups, the newly-founded More Than a Vote, a collective of athletes headlined by LeBron James, is also announcing a multimillion-dollar initiative to increase the number of poll workers in Black electoral districts. 

In June, the NCAA recommended that schools do not schedule team activities on Election Day in an effort to encourage participation. 

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