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Rivers encourages Clippers to register to vote

PLAYA VISTA, Calif. — Doc Rivers ended the LA Clippers‘ practice on Tuesday encouraging his players to go register to vote.

The Clippers were holding an employee outing outside the team’s practice facility with food trucks and even a table where players and employees could register to vote with “I am a voter.”

As the team huddled at the end of practice inside their gym, Rivers encouraged his players to register to vote.

“I call it a duty,” Rivers said about encouraging players to vote and think about events going on in the world. “I’m an older gentleman and I think it is my duty to talk to them about current events… I just want them to think about things instead of reacting.

“I think that society, in my opinion, will react to whatever everybody’s mad about instead of actually giving it some thoughtfulness. 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.”

Guard Landry Shamet said he planned to go register to vote after he was done talking to the media and noted how Rivers openly talks about world or societal issues that other coaches might shy away from.

Power forward Montrezl Harrell said he is already a registered voter who is waiting to see who will be the Democratic nominee to run opposite President Donald Trump.

“I really don’t get into politics that much,” said Harrell, who pointed out that he is most concerned about issues such as equal rights. “I registered to vote and I have voted. This past election I didn’t vote when Trump was up for it. I got to see who is running against Trump and look into their background… and kind of make my decision off of that.”

Rivers said “maybe two, maybe three” players on the Clippers team voted during the last election. He recalled how one player who had never voted, registered and voted and wore his sticker showing that he voted throughout practice that day.

“Hopefully we have 10 [or] 11 stickers this [time],” Rivers said.

Rivers called the issue of voting “personal” for him as an African American male.

“I am not telling anyone who to vote for, I’m telling you to go vote,” Rivers said. “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.”

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