John Calipari is making sure his players know how to exercise their right to vote this November. Kentucky’s head coach tweeted the picture shown above, writing “Great talk with the guys tonight about registering to vote and how to get their absentee ballots. This is about more than basketball!”
Absentee voting is essential for college students, since traveling home to vote in-person on a weekday is often difficult or even impossible. For the Kentucky basketball team, which attracts talent from all over the country, a Tuesday in November means practice, class and (some years) being out-of-state to compete in the Champions Classic. Add in this year’s global pandemic and Kentucky’s so-called “gold-standard of bubbles” to keep the team isolated, and it becomes clear these young men would not have the ability to cast a ballot without absentee voting.
Calipari followed up on Sunday saying all of his players are now registered to vote. Then, he added the following message:
“Our conversation last night was about ACTION. Having an opinion is part of the process but solutions are based on actions. As a team, what will we do to make a difference for people? That’s action & it starts [with] voting. It’s not partisan. It’s about who aligns with your beliefs.”
I'm also proud to support the @NABC1927 in the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.
Educated opinions create meaningful actions!
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) August 23, 2020
Senior walk-on Riley Welch and UK basketball’s Director of Digital Media TJ Beisner also took to twitter to air out their thoughts on the matter:
If you have a problem with Coach Calipari encouraging my teammates and me to vote, we have a problem with you coming to our games and supporting us during the 3 hour segments you choose.
— Riley Welch (@Riley__Welch) August 23, 2020
Imagine being angry that an educator provided his college-age pupils info on how they can still vote while they’re away from home.
— TJ Beisner (@tjbeisner) August 23, 2020