August 10, 2022


With facilities closed for Election Day, Bears players turn out to vote

Halas Hall will be quiet Tuesday.

The Bears training facility, and every team’s facility across the NFL, will be closed for Election Day. Many of the NFL’s stadiums are serving as poling places or locations to drop off ballots.

Soldier Field is not one of those, although the United Center on Chicago’s west side is.

For Bears inside linebacker Danny Trevathan and his family, voting has always been important. Trevathan said NFL players should use their platform to push for what they believe in.

“My family's big on using your rights,” Trevathan said. “Back in the day, we didn't have those rights [to vote], as you know. So, people worked hard for us to have that right to vote.”

Trevathan was outspoken on social media during the civil unrest that followed George Floyd's death in May. He has remained an outspoken advocate, especially for the Black community.

Trevathan is one of many Bears players who have knelt in protest during the national anthem this season. Those protests continued Sunday at Soldier Field prior to the Bears’ game against the New Orleans Saints.

A half dozen or so Bears have knelt for the anthem every game. Others have stood, and about half the team has remained in the locker room during the anthem.

No matter who or what players support, the NFL has been pushing for players to register to vote. The Bears’ home field had the word “vote” painted in the grass Sunday.

“It’s a good thing and I know our guys are going to be excited to partake in all that,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said.

The Bears normally would have Monday off following a Sunday game, but Nagy switched those plans around, making Monday a work day and Tuesday a day off.

Rookie receiver Darnell Mooney said he’s grateful to the team and the league for pushing so hard to vote. Mooney said it has encouraged himself and his teammates to think about what they stand for.

“[It’s] giving them more information on which direction you would want to go to vote for,” Mooney said. “It’s not telling you exactly who to vote for. It’s just giving you more of a mindset of what and who you’d want to vote for.”

Left tackle Charles Leno said the Bears have a board up at Halas Hall that lists things the players can do to stay involved in the community. Leno wanted to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August following the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, that idea was shut down by the team. But there are still things the Bears can do, Leno said.

“Whether it's giving back to social justice initiatives and vote, just a lot of different things,” Leno said. “I think they're doing a really good job of that. Sometimes you can lose sight of that in a season like this."

Tuesday won’t be totally void of NFL news because it remains the league’s trade deadline. Teams have until 3 p.m. to finalize any last trades this season. The league declined to move the trade deadline, despite closing facilities.

After the 3 p.m. deadline, though, much of the NFL world – along with the rest of the country – will be watching the election.

“Control what you can control,” Trevathan said. “It goes back to that. We don't know which way it's going to go. All we can do is make our best efforts to make our votes count as much as possible.”