Florida Head Coach Dan Mullen is a perplexing individual.
It was reported on Wednesday that Mullen had a unique perspective on the NCAA mandate that made sure no team activities were held on Election Day this year.
In one instance, Mullen says it’s unfortunate that the NCAA will make the Gators cancel practice on Tuesday, because “it messes with your preparation.”
This is the same man that said he wanted Florida’s home stadium to be packed out with 90,000 screaming fans in the middle of a pandemic that has killed more than 225,000 people.
A week later, the Gators had a COVID outbreak that forced them into a two-week hiatus and made them reschedule their game against LSU.
Mullen himself tested positive for the virus as well.
The school announced Wednesday that six new positive cases were discovered within the program in the past week. Florida has now had 37 positive tests in the last month.
Mullen is no stranger to tone-deaf statements, and it seemed like his comments about Election Day were going to add to the list, but then Mullen decided to make sense.
“They still have classes going on,” Mullen said about the NCAA mandate. “They probably should have canceled everything. Make it a national holiday.”
This is smart and something that probably should have been implemented a long time ago. It would allow college students and working American citizens to vote on Election Day without worrying about these specific obligations.
It just makes sense that you give people an entire day to vote when wait times are 10-plus hours in some districts due to a lack of polling areas. I decided to participate in early voting and still had to wait more than four hours to cast a ballot.
These alone are clear examples of voter suppression, notwithstanding that voting machines are sure to somehow malfunction on Election Day, and communities of color have less voting resources than majority-white communities in general.
Election Day should be a national holiday because people need a full day to vote. It’s a measure that many Republicans, like Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, have been against. McConell calls it a “power grab.”
McConnell likely believes it’s a power grab for more people to vote because he understands that his Republican base doesn’t need a full day to vote. After all, they are likely not being subjected to these levels of voter suppression. It’s simply a way for him and his Republican counterparts to maintain their elected power.
In this case, Mullen is in a rare stratosphere as he is clearly making more sense than a powerful elected official.
Voting is a right given to American citizens and should be exercised to its fullest extent and the government should make it easy for individuals to make their voices heard.
For once, Mullen is right about something in 2020.