The Chicago Bears are serious about voting.
As players arrived for training camp and took their required COVID-19 tests, head trainer Andre Tucker also gave them the opportunity to register to vote. In a training camp marked with political discussions regarding ongoing protests related to racial justice, Bears players urged their fanbase to take their right to vote seriously.
"It's important just because a lot of people don't know exactly what their rights are," said rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson, "and if they do, sometimes they don't know how to go about achieving and fulfilling those rights, so they're getting this opportunity to vote, and it's very important in this society that we have now. It's just a blessing to have people around us that actually care about us off the field and just as human beings."
The team has announced that its offices will be closed on Nov. 3, the last day to vote in the upcoming election. On ChicagoBears.com, fans can find important information for voting in the state of Illinois by clicking here.
The team would like to draw fans' attention to Lyft's Voting Access Program and Uber's Drive the Vote program. Neither company is an official partner of the Chicago Bears or the NFL, but both programs offer a significant discount to voters going to the polls on Nov. 3.
Early in-person (with limited locations) and absentee voting are already underway in the state of Illinois.
"What's going on is very, very, very crazy times," said linebacker Khalil Mack, "very unfortunate times. Just knowing you have the support of ownership and everybody around, including the coaching staff as well, is huge for us. It's one of those things for the guys, it's bigger than football. Some of those things that you take with you when you leave this building, a lot of people are not able to see how it fits [into] everyday life."
A few important dates to remember:
- Sunday, Oct. 18: Last day to register to vote online.
- Monday, Oct. 19: Traditional early voting period begins.
- Monday, Nov. 2: Last day of early voting.
- Tuesday, Nov. 3: Election Day. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by this date to be counted.