If you’re looking for a high-intensity, dramatic contest featuring millionaires hoping to capture the ultimate prize, you’ll have to settle for watching midterm election returns because the NBA won’t be playing any games tonight.
This summer, the league announced a scheduling decision based on the, “NBA family’s focus on promoting nonpartisan civic engagement and encouraging fans to make a plan to vote during midterm elections.”
Before Tuesday voting — expected to be referendum on the economy, climate change and abortion —some 40 million Americans had already cast ballots as debate resurged about whether Election Day should be a national holiday.
But compared to other leagues, the NBA is basically on fast break out ahead of their peers.
Are other leagues also taking Election Day off?
Of all the major sports leagues, the NBA has been the most encouraging of its athletes’ speaking out on social justice issues.
This is the first time the NBA has suspended play for Election Day, and it’s hard to see that this will be a one-and-done occurrence.
However, other high-profile leagues have not yet followed suit.
The National Hockey League, for example, encourages fans to vote, but a check of schedules shows that most NHL teams are GAME ON even though our very democracy hangs in the balance.
Some fans clearly noticed.
What about college hoops?
The NCAA, which kicked off the college basketball season this week, also has several D-I men’s and women’s basketball games scheduled tonight. This, despite the fact that college-aged students face some of the most obstacles in voting.
However, NCAA Division II has followed the NBA, for the first time this year requiring all D-II schools to take a day off from games and practices.
“This (legislation) allows student-athletes to perform their civic duties, such as voting, volunteering and community engagement,” Kate Pigsley, a former field hockey player at Southern New Hampshire and member of Division II SAAC, said of the decision.
The NBA will return to its normal programming after tonight.