More than Athletes: Furman Basketball Leads by Example Off the Court
In a Twitter post on Sept. 2, the team announced that all players on the current roster would be registered to vote.
As calls for social justice have gained momentum, athletes have increasingly used their voices to advocate for justice. The NBA and several other professional leagues have illustrated the power that athletes have in today’s society: people listen and take notice when athletes come together on issues. The Furman men’s basketball team is no different. Furman’s basketball team stands out on campus and in the Greenville area more broadly. As a result of their far-reaching influence, Furman Basketball is looking to lead by example off the court.
In a Twitter post on Sept. 2, the team announced that all players on the current roster would be registered to vote. The team elaborated on the announcement by stating, “We will conduct detailed educational sessions on absentee voting for our team. We will have the entire team registered to vote by Sept. 15th, 2020.” This announcement comes after a host of other athletes and universities have voiced their opinions for the need for social and political change.
This powerful and impactful initiative was led by the coaching staff and head coach Bob Richey. In Coach Richey’s fourth year of coaching for Furman, the impact of his leadership on the court is unquestionable and reflected by his recent contract extension. With this initiative, he is continuing to bring actionable change off the court as well.
When asked about the voter registration initiative, current player Alex Hunter said, “I think there’s a huge significance in it honestly! It shows that we as student athletes stand for things that are bigger than just basketball and how unified our program is.”
Similarly, junior forward Noah Gurley said, “In these times, our coaches have challenged us to be the change rather than asking for it, and voting is a way to do that. Coach Johnson made sure all of the team came to his office and were registered to vote. This is just another opportunity by our team to move in unison.” Gurley emphasized the importance of unity and solidarity: “In times where everyone is divided, we want to show the country and the University that we are one. To me, voting is important because my people fought for years and years to vote, and even to this day there is still struggle. I believe if I want change, I must vote, and I owe it to all those before me who fought to get me this right.”
Furman Basketball has a much-anticipated upcoming season. After finishing second place in the Southern Conference regular season, Furman is looking to up their position both in the conference and nationally. Clearly, Furman men’s basketball is leading both on and off the court.