Today is the first Tuesday of November, and you know what that means: it’s NFL trade deadline day. And you know already that the Pittsburgh Steelers exercised their civic duty in participating in this occasion, getting in their contributions early this year by agreeing to a trade on Monday, though they won’t have immediate gratification.
Although terms of a trade for New York Jets inside linebacker Avery Williamson have already been agreed to, with the Jets sending a 2022 seventh-round pick along with him in exchange for a 2022 fifth-round pick, he will not be cleared to train with the team until Saturday, much in the way that Le’Veon Bell could not train with the Kansas City Chiefs, due to the six-day Covid-19 clearance process. He can, however, participate in virtual meetings.
Of course, there is also something else going on this particular Tuesday: it’s Election Day in the United States, including for that of the President for the next four years. This year more than ever, the NFL and teams, and their players, have attempted to use their platform to encourage their fans to vote.
And the NFL and teams have tried to lead by example by encouraging their own players to vote, which hasn’t always been the case in the past. The league has closed all facilities for the day in order to ensure that everybody would have the opportunity.
The Steelers have formed a number of groups within their ranks, consisting of players and coaches and likely other personnel, which meet in order to discuss a number of issues, such as civic responsibilities. Head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about his team’s approach to Election Day and what his message was to his players.
“Today is Tuesday. We are working and planning. We’re professionally focused, but we have been talking continuously about being active participants in the political process and exercising our right to vote”, he said. “It requires no special meeting or no point of emphasis today. We all know what today is”.
A number of Steelers players have taken to social media to encourage fans to exercise their right to vote today, if they have not already, and the team has even sponsored a Rock the Vote page that directs fans to outlets where they can find where their polling place is and even to look up your ballot.
For many states around the country, there is same-day registration available, so even individuals who are not currently registered to vote can still leave their house right now and show up to a polling place, register to vote, and then vote.
National elections are one day once every two years in this country, and for President, once every four years. it’s not unreasonable to set aside one Tuesday when typically not much is done anyway to make it easier for citizens to exercise their civic rights. And for the Steelers, they needed no special acknowledgement of the day, because they have been made well aware of it, according to Tomlin.