LSU players start change by registering to vote

In the wake of nationwide protests against racism, LSU's football team decided on Tuesday that all of its players would register to vote, coach Ed Orgeron said during an interview with a local radio station.

Orgeron said that his team held a meeting to discuss the current civil unrest that has come in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police officers.

They then held a separate meeting of the leadership council, which included 12 players and some coaches, during which everyone offered solutions to combat racism.

"The guys wanted to take action, to register to vote," Orgeron said on 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge.

Orgeron said that a member of the football support staff would facilitate players registering to vote online.

He said there was an additional meeting via Zoom that took place on Monday night where players expressed their feelings.

"I wanted to talk to our team and let them know that I'm here for them, I'll listen to them and I support them 100 percent, and I understand that they're feeling hurt and they're upset," Orgeron said.

On Tuesday, UCLA announced that all its head coaches across its 25 teams would set aside time to allow players to register to vote. Last week it was announced that nine Georgia Tech athletic teams, including football, would refrain from any mandatory activities on Election Day as a way to encourage players to vote. Also, more than 60 Missouri football players led a rally, then walked from campus to the Boone County Courthouse in Columbia to register to vote.

"The events in this country over the past two weeks have motivated many people, including a number of our student-athletes, to use their voices," said incoming athletic director Martin Jarmond. "As an athletic department, now is the time for us to take action, to demonstrate national leadership and to signal to our student-athletes that voting matters. The Voting Matters Initiative will partner with student leaders and existing organizations on campus to provide education and support action."