ATHENS — Given permission to duck out of a post-practice interview last Tuesday evening in order to vote in the presidential election, Lorenzo Carter said he was literally the last person in line in his downtown Athens polling station, making it there at 6:59 p.m. But he got there and got his vote in, and that was very important to him.
“It was my first time really being able to vote in a presidential election,” Carter said during the Bulldogs’ weekly news conference on Monday. “I just felt like I wanted to vote because I wanted my voice heard. I wanted to be able to say I did what I had to do and I was comfortable with whatever happened because I made my voice heard.”
Not everybody on the team did vote. Carter wasn’t sure how many did or didn’t, but we was among those on the leadership council that was trying to rally his teammates the polls.
“There were players on the team — I was one of them — who really encouraged everybody on the team to register and get out and vote,” Carter said. “I mean, some people didn’t, but that was up to them.”
Politics are a volatile subject almost anywhere they’re brought up. That includes football locker rooms. Football teams — like teams most in most sports — are veritable melting pots of individuals from varied backgrounds. They are products of South Georgia farm communities, Northeast Georgia mountain folk, urban and suburban Atlanta and socioeconomic environments that run the gamut.
“We really don’t talk about politics a lot in the locker room,” Carter said. “But we know that it’s there. We know that Donald Trump won and he’s the president. So we accept it and we’re just going to roll with it.”
Trump’s election prompted protests and marches all over country, including Atlanta. As his comments indicate, Carter voted for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.
“But I’m comfortable with whoever won because obviously somebody went out and voted (for Trump),” he said.
Some of Carter’s teammates voted that way, but it hasn’t been a divisive issue, he said.
“It could (be), but our team is so tight it’s like a family,” he said. “Families have disagreements and you can disagree with (teammates) based n whatever they feel, but you still respect them at the end of the day.”
Politics are the last thing on the Bulldogs’ minds at the moments. After Saturday’s 13-7 upset win over No. 8 Auburn, Georgia is brimming with confidence and eager to get back on the football field to show it wasn’t a fluke.
“There’s a little more excitement around the building,” Carter said. “I feel like in the locker room we’ve still got the same fire and it’s been the same fire whether we were 4-4 or right now. We’re ready to go out there and keep playing and proving people wrong.”