Big 12 basketball: OU's Lon Kruger, OSU's Mike Boynton say teams will have Nov. 3 Election Day off to vote
Oklahoma's Lon Kruger and Oklahoma State's Mike Boynton, along with the eight other Big 12 men's basketball coaches, released a statement Friday saying they will give their players the day off on Nov. 3 so they can vote in the general election.
The statement comes after several weeks of nationwide protests against racism and police brutality.
"While this is only one small step, we are committed to taking further action and standing up for those suffering from racism," the coaches wrote.
Earlier Friday, NCAA president Mark Emmert and the NCAA Board of Governors encouraged schools to take this specific action.
"We encourage all member schools to assist students in registering to vote in the upcoming national election and designate Nov. 3, 2020, as a day off from athletic activity so athletes can vote and participate in their ultimate responsibility as citizens," Emmert said in a release.
OU redshirt junior safety Justin Broiles spoke at a Black Lives Matter march in Oklahoma City and specifically highlighted voting as a way to make change in the country.
OU athletic director Joe Castiglione was asked Wednesday about the potential of giving the entire athletic department a day off for voting. He encouraged the idea, but also said he doesn't take a day off and still finds a way to vote.
"It needs to be something that everybody fulfills as a responsibility, especially if we’re going to lead by example for our student-athletes," Castiglione said. "So I would tell you that it’s not just that type of action being discussed, but what we can do to help educate our student-athletes, and staff, for that matter, to the issues that are on the ballot."