The NFL is partnering with Rock the Vote, RISE to Vote and I Am A Voter to encourage its fanbase and athletes to exercise their right to vote. The NFL Votes campaign launched on Thursday (Aug. 6) and will continue through Election Day in November.
“We’re launching NFL Votes to inspire everyone in the NFL family – including our fans – to participate in the civic process by getting registered to vote and ultimately exercising their right to vote,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “When meeting with players and legends to listen to the things they’re passionate about, voting is clearly an issue of critical importance.”
Seattle Seahawks players and twin brothers Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin are two athletes at the forefront of the initiative. The league’s three partners will help players organize voter drives in their hometowns, alma maters and more.
“We once were at a time in our lives when we felt our vote did not matter, and that came from conversations with people who felt the same way, but our vote really does count,” Shaquill said in the release. “We all sat down together, talked with our mom and dad, and you can’t get to the point that it doesn’t matter. That was a problem, but once you have the conversation, we actually found the truth.”
“We are using the platform we have, we can change people who feel that way, change their view and get them out to vote. It’s important they understand, ‘You are people who can really make change,’” he continued.
“You have to set the example,” Shaquem added. “It’s about getting up and doing it. People can say one thing and do another. If I want to be one of the better [examples] I have to be one who says I am going to do it and then do it. If they see me doing it and I take the step forward, I physically assure you this is the time to do it.”
Partnering with Roc Nation, NFL has also continued their “Everyone’s Child” campaign, which highlights the devastating community impact of children and young adults dying at the hands of police violence. Last month, they released a PSA video about 22-year-old Stephon Clark, who was gunned down by Sacramento officers in 2018.