ASU Football: Herm Edwards Giving Players Chance to Register to Vote
Arizona State football coach Herm Edwards does not appear to be a "stick to sports" type of guy.
On Monday, he joined ASU's students and faculty on Zoom to discuss several topics, and issues surrounding racial injustice came up.
Edwards said that ASU is a place that encourages its athletes to take a stand, and part of that involvement is going to polls and voting for leaders, or in 2020's case, mail in a ballot. Edwards has a plan for his team to be represented.
"This Friday, we have voter registration for all our players," Edwards said. "We are bringing [registators] here so they can sign up to vote. We are not telling them who to vote for. But they're going to have an opportunity to sign up to vote. We are big on this."
"We will fully invest our time when it comes to things like this for our players."
During the 2016 US Presidential Election, the age group 18-29 had by far the lowest turnout, with less than half of eligible voters showing up. Edwards is looking to set an example by having his football team take part in their democracy.
Edwards has spoken openly about his feelings regarding players speaking out for injustice. He encourages it, but on Monday, he shared a caveat.
"I think our players are together as a group, we talk about this stuff in length," Edwards said. "Our players have been in the building as this stuff has been unfolding. We've told all our student-athletes if they see moments of injustice and racism appears, we encourage them to use their platform. But, here's the deal, be a voice of reason and solutions. We want them to be involved."
Edwards has been a guide for some of his players as they look to make their voices heard. He said that he's had players come up to him and say what their plan was, and Edwards gave his opinion, and the player adjusted.
Edwards said that what is happening in America is a movie he has seen before. He was a teenager when the Vietnam War commenced, and protesting broke out. He remembers when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. But, the way that the younger generations have mobilized and spread the movement has given Edwards a lot of hope.
"Where I get my energy is I see the young people now, and I go 'this is different,'" Edwards said. "This is going to work; they're going to make a change. There has to be change; there can't just be talk."
He stated that the major changes may not be for those currently fighting but for the future kids of the country. As he has said before, change is not a light switch; it is a boulder.