Doc Rivers Encourages Los Angeles Clippers Players to Register to Vote
Harrison Barnes may be the NBA’s most passionate and active voting advocate, but the Sacramento Kings forward has plenty of company in the coaching ranks. Doc Rivers, for one, recently made a point of encouraging the players he coaches with the Los Angeles Clippers to register ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
On Tuesday, the former All-Star-turned-head coach shared that message with his players in conjunction with a voter registration drive, which was taking place for team employees outside the practice facility in Playa Vista.
"I am not telling anyone who to vote for, I'm telling you to go vote," Doc said, per ESPN. "And I think our young people don't understand how hard we had to fight to have the right to vote or not vote. So we have to do better. Like we all complain, but then we don't vote. It's very personal for me."
Doc has long made a point of talking to his players about current events and the wider world beyond sports. In this instance, his impassioned speech about the importance of voting convinced at least one Clipper—second-year guard Landry Shamet—to register that day. And after seeing “maybe two, maybe three” of his players vote during the 2018 midterm elections, he hopes to have “10, 11” of them return from the polls with stickers indicating their participation next year.
"I think that society, in my opinion, will react to whatever everybody's mad about instead of actually giving it some thoughtfulness,” Doc said. “I try to get them to see outside of what we do. We [in professional sports] live in a very make-believe world. I think it's important."
Josh Martin is the Editorial Director of CloseUp360. He previously covered the NBA for Bleacher Report and USA Today Sports Media Group, and has written for Yahoo! Sports and Complex. He is also the co-host of the Hollywood Hoops podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.