Alabama coach Nick Saban was among the sports figures from West Virginia to write a letter to Sen. Joe Manchin on Tuesday in support of the “Freedom to Vote Act” being debated in the United States Senate.
Saban was joined by Basketball Hall of Famer Jerry West, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and former NFL quarterback Oliver Luck in the letter to Sen. Manchin.
"We are all certain that democracy is best when voting is open to everyone on a level playing field; the referees are neutral; and at the end of the game the final score is respected and accepted," Saban and Co. wrote, per a press release. "So we are united now in urging Congress to exercise its Constitutional responsibility to enact laws that set national standards for the conduct of Federal elections and for decisions that determine election outcomes."
"We commend you for ensuring that such legislation rests on critical features of our Constitution. These guarantee that all Americans have an equal voice in our democracy and that Federal elections are conducted with integrity so that the votes of all eligible voters determine the election outcomes."
Saban, 70, is a West Virginia native. He served as West Virginia's defensive backs coach in 1978 and 1979 as he moved up the ranks as a collegiate assistant. Saban rose to the top of college football over the last two decades, though Tuesday's stance did earn him one notable detractor.
"Nick Saban should focus on winning National Championships instead of destroying our elections," South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman tweeted Tuesday. Norman serves South Carolina's fifth congressional district, holding that office since 2017.
Saban and the Crimson Tide reached the College Football Playoff for the seventh time in eight years this season before losing to Georgia in the national title game. Saban is a seven-time national champion, including six championships with the Crimson Tide.
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