Gonzaga's Mark Few said he will cancel all team activities, workouts, practices and scrimmages on Election Day to promote the significance of civic engagement, and wants coaches around the country to join him.
Georgia Tech assistant Eric Reveno, who earlier Wednesday tweeted the idea of an "NCAA day off" on Nov. 3, reached out to Few and asked him to endorse his plan. According to Reveno, Georgia Tech's men's and women's basketball teams will cancel all team activities on Election Day. He also said that Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner has pitched the idea to the ACC's coaches.
"Federal election day, Nov 3rd, needs to be a NCAA mandatory off day," Reveno wrote in his tweet. "We must empower, educate and guide our athletes to be part of the change. We need action. There is symbolism in every holiday and it's powerful."
Federal election day, Nov 3rd, needs to be a NCAA mandatory off day. We must empower, educate and guide our athletes to be part of the change. We need action. There is symbolism in every holiday and it's powerful. @GeorgiaTech @GTAthletics @accmbb @ncaa @CabreraAngel— Eric Reveno (@CoachReveno) June 3, 2020
"I think it's a great idea," Few told ESPN. "It's just a step. One of many that needs to happen."
Few's comments come more than a week after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Floyd, a black man who was in handcuffs at the time, died after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes. The encounter was captured on camera, and the four officers involved -- Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng -- were all fired.
Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. On Wednesday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced charges against the three other officers, two of whom helped hold Floyd, 46, down.
Thao, Lane and Kueng were all charged with aiding and abetting murder.
Floyd's death has sparked protests across the country, and Few was among many coaches and teams to release a statement promising action.
"Like many of you, I am sickened and appalled of what happened to George Floyd and unfortunately too many others over the years," he said. "There's been a long history of racial injustice that is sadly still a part of our current reality."
Few said canceling team activities on Election Day will help players understand the significance of the day.
"All we can do is educate our guys," he said.
Reveno said he came up with the idea when one of his players highlighted the significance of voting during a team Zoom call.
He said he'd been questioning his impact since Floyd's death, and the call served as a catalyst for action.
"My heart has been in the right place, but what have I done?" Reveno said. "The idea is to make Nov. 3 NCAA national day off. Just have a day where we can focus on civil liberties and support student-athletes."