ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan’s football players made it to the polls Tuesday. And while they won’t divulge whom they voted for, they were definitive in the fact that they voted.
“We have a lot of free rights,” OL Ben Braden said. “It’s a free country, and we can enjoy them, and respect them, and understand that not everyone in the world has that.”
While Braden said he doesn’t get involved in politics, he said that several of his younger teammates were ambivalent about voting.
One Wolverine, however, said last month he wouldn’t vote in this year’s presidential election:
I've decided not to vote. Don't feel confident enough in these candidates to support either.
— Drake Johnson (@DRAKEington) October 16, 2016
“Some were kind of on the fence about it, but I try not to get into politics too much because football takes up most of my life,” Braden said. “My roommate, Greg Froelich, is really into politics, but I haven’t had a chance to ask him his opinion about it.”
Linebacker Mike McCray voted via absentee ballot in his home state of Ohio.
Michigan WR Amara Darboh planned to vote this year for the first time. Darboh came to the United States from Africa when he was seven, becoming a U.S. citizen just last year.
“I’m planning on voting tomorrow, to see how it goes,” Darboh said Monday night, following his appearance on the “Inside Michigan Football” coaches show.
Fullback Khalid Hill said Monday night that he also planned to vote, but wouldn’t disclose his potential ballot.
Michigan had to feel inspired following outgoing president Barack Obama’s visit to Ann Arbor on Monday. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and athletic director Warde Manuel had pretty good seats to Obama’s speech at Michigan’s baseball stadium.
— Campus Insiders (@CampusInsiders) November 7, 2016
Tuesday morning on the Big Ten coaches teleconference, Harbaugh was asked if he encouraged his players to vote. Harbaugh answered with an emphatic “Yes!”
Are you voting today?
If you're a Michigan fan who's apathetic about voting … Jim Harbaugh said last night that he plans to vote today.
— Rachel Lenzi (@RLenziCMG) November 8, 2016
Harbaugh wasn’t the only college football coach to encourage his players to exercise their constitutional rights.
“That’s the first thing I reminded them after practice,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday on the teleconference.
Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia took it a step further, bussing his team to the voter precincts Tuesday morning in South Carolina.
While official election results weren’t in prior to 8 p.m. local time in Washtenaw County or in Michigan, several people announced on social media they voted blue — maize and blue:
Just voted for Jim Harbaugh
— Tony (@Aberrelez_12) November 8, 2016
— BHEsq (@Hewittlaw) November 8, 2016