In this file photo, Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse directs play from courtside during first half NBA basketball action against the Brooklyn Nets, in Toronto, Feb. 8, 2020. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Nurse hopes to use platform to get American expats voting in US election

Nick Nurse wants to make sure Americans living outside the U.S. vote in November’s presidential election.

NBA players have been insistent that the fight for racial equality and social justice be a central theme of the league’s July 30 restart in Florida, and the league’s coaches have been a big part of the discussions.

Nurse hopes that using his significant platform as the Toronto Raptors’ head coach to encourage people to vote is a tangible way he can help.

“It’s 650,000 to a million expats living in Canada,” Nurse said. “I think like with anything, (voting abroad) is probably a really old initiative that’s hard to get the message out, and we’re hoping to help, we’re hoping to help raise awareness.”

Nurse has a series of public service announcements planned, including some with Raptors players. They’ll guide voters on how to register and where to vote, to ”get the wheels in motion, and then there’ll be a couple of other steps once we get closer (to Nov. 3 election day).”

Nurse said the NBA’s 30 head coaches meet every Monday to discuss various social justice initiatives. The Atlanta Hawks’ arena, Nurse pointed out, will be used as a voting station in November.

There are also plans for coaches to address racial injustice issues at press conferences when the 22 teams gather at Walt Disney World Resort for the restart.

“Rather than just (talk about) basketball, or ‘How’s practice?’ or ‘How was the game?’” Nurse said. “Something to again keep the message going each day.”

The league has been considering allowing players to substitute names on the backs of jerseys with a social justice message.

Raptors guard Norm Powell said he’s been mulling over a handful of thoughts and quotes.

“There’s so much going on, there’s so many things you want to speak to and talk about, but I’m just trying to find a message that speaks to it all and is personal to me,” Powell said. “I have probably a list of 10 or 12 that I’m narrowing down as the days get closer and closer to be able to decide.”

Returning to play amid the unrest in the U.S. has been a polarizing issue among players. Kyrie Irving and Dwight Howard are among the most outspoken players against the restart.

The NBA and its players association are planning to paint “Black Lives Matter” on the court in all three arenas the league will use, ESPN reported.

The WNBA is also discussing painting “Black Lives Matter” on the court for its abbreviated 2020 season in Bradenton, Fla., according to ESPN.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 30, 2020.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maskwacis teen charged in 10-year-old boy’s death

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

Still no mandatory masks in Red Deer

While a growing number of Alberta communities have made masks mandatory, the… Continue reading

134 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

First day over 100 cases since July 31

Red Deer asking for feedback on new transit routes

The new routes will begin Aug. 23

Rainbow flag raised at Red Deer College to kick off Pride Week

Central Alberta Pride Week runs next week

Cast your votes for Best of Red Deer

The Advocate’s Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are back. Community… Continue reading

Quebec festivals organizers look to innovate as restrictions loosened

Montreal has been having its quietest summer in recent memory, as COVID-19… Continue reading

COVID-19 outbreaks over in federal prisons, staff preparing for ‘new normal’

COVID-19 outbreaks in Canada’s federal prisons have been declared over, and staff… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $10 million jackpot… Continue reading

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

OTTAWA — The federal government will match all individual donations from Canadians… Continue reading

Protests in Beirut amid public fury over massive blast

BEIRUT — Police fired tear gas and clashed with demonstrators in Lebanon’s… Continue reading

Biden risks alienating young Black voters after race remarks

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden’s controversial remarks about race this week risk alienating… Continue reading

Red Sox Hold off Blue Jays with Moreland’s Bat and Bullpen

Red Sox Hold off Blue Jays with Moreland’s Bat and Bullpen

Most Read