Chris Petersen goes out of his way to encourage Washington Huskies football players to vote. And not just now that Election Day is upon us.
“We’ve been talking about it for weeks, and really what that means,” Petersen said Tuesday. “We’ve got the military appreciation game, and to me, this all just ties in. Our military is fighting for us to be able to vote and have free speech and all these things these other countries wish they had.”
Huskies players say Petersen frequently emphasizes the importance of voting, in addition to discussing other national issues, such as the protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservations.
“He definitely wants us to get out there and vote,” junior linebacker Azeem Victor said. “I definitely will, just haven’t got a chance to. But I definitely will.”
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“He tries to educate us in pretty much every way, even going into Standing Rock and what’s happening down there with the Indian reservations and the pipelines and everything,” linebacker Keishawn Bierria said. “He pretty much educates us in every way and makes sure we really know about every subject so we’re not just blind about everything.”
UW defensive backs coach Jimmy Lake, whose father served in the Air Force, said he hopes his players take their voting rights seriously.
“It’s all of our duty to go out there and vote,” Lake said. “So I would love them to. I would tell them to. Now, if they don’t, that’s their prerogative. That’s another one of their rights. They don’t have to vote if they don’t want to, but I definitely think they should, for sure.”
Said Petersen: “I think this is such an interesting election in so many different ways. I don’t want to get all political right here, but I think a lot of guys are frustrated by what’s going on in the country, and they see their choices and they don’t get super excited, a lot of them. But that’s not the point. The point is, you do have a choice, and you need to make your voice heard. ... We do talk about that stuff, and not just today.”