USC athletes will be given the day off from all athletic activities on Election Day, so they can exercise their right to vote, athletic director Mike Bohn announced Thursday.
After nationwide protests over racial injustice and police brutality sparked by the George Floyd killing, the NCAA encouraged member schools to give student-athletes Nov. 3 off to vote.
USC’s United Black Student-Athletes Association, which was formed following the Floyd protests, listed among its mid-June requests to Bohn that there be no required athletic-related activities for Trojan athletes on election days.
Bohn said the decision followed discussions with members of USC’s United Black Student-Athlete Association, Trojan Athletic Senate and USC Athletics Black Lives Matter Action Team and advisory committee.
“We have collectively decided to fully embrace this voting initiative,” Bohn said. “We’ve been so inspired by the many ways in which our student-athletes have found their voice these past several months and we know how critical exercising our right to vote is to amplifying that voice.”
USC senior hurdler Anna Cockrell, the 2019 NCAA champion in the 400-meter hurdles and a co-founder of the UBSAA, called giving athletes Election Day off “an important step towards allowing the student-athletes to be more than athletes, but to also be an important part of society.”
“By making this commitment, USC is recognizing the importance of our rights and our civic duty as voters.”