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Tomon Fox, Patrice Rene on Election Day

UNC players got Tuesday off to vote
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The NCAA gave all college football players Tuesday off for election day, so players had the opportunity to vote, if they hadn’t, or otherwise get engaged civically.

UNC’s players took advantage of the opportunity.

“I found myself more civically engaged,” linebacker Tomon Fox said. “I actually voted early.”

With game week schedules normally set in stone, the Tuesday off left teams scrambling to make up time, but it was worth it, in players’ eyes.

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“I think the NCAA did a great job by giving players off to vote,” Fox said. “Even if they had (voted) before, even if they did it before, it gave us the opportunity to use our rights to vote this year. I think it’s important for everybody to vote.”

Several high-profile incidents with police killing African-Americans in custody, and the resulting Black Lives Matter protests had many players more aware of the issues in the election.

“There’s a lot of racial tension, especially this year,” Fox said. “It’s always been around, but lately, it’s been wild. I think everybody used this opportunity to make the right decisions out there and help with policies.”

Defensive back Patrice Rene is Canadian, giving him a different perspective on election day in the U.S.

“First, I think it’s a great opportunity, a great thing the NCAA did, giving everybody the opportunity to go out there and vote and bring awareness to the situation, what’s going on. A lot of players didn’t have a chance to go vote. Me, personally, I definitely became more engaged. Unfortunately, I can’t vote, because I’m not an American citizen, but I’m definitely aware of what’s going on. I’m just trying to educate myself as best as I can.”