Members of the Toronto Raptors, Canada's only team in the National Basketball Association, were despairing at the exceptionally low voter turnout by local fans in Tuesday's US Presidential election, despite significant efforts to engage with fans of color to "Get Out To Vote". There were zero black or other ethnic minorities votes, according to exit polls, despite the metropolitan area being one of the most multicultural cities in the world.
A teary-eyed Kyle Lowry, the Raptors' star point guard, said on TSN "We keep loving this city, and this city does not love us back," echoing similar sentiments from NBA coach Doc Rivers.
The league and players took exceptional measures to increase participation in the historic US election, including opening polling stations at the Scotiabank Arena and placing advertisements on radio, television, billboards, social media and newspapers. Players made numerous appearances at community events, and even super-fan Drake attended polls in person.
"We thought we'd connected with our fans. This shows how much work we have to do to deal with apathy in this city for elections," said Lowry.
TSN anchor James Duthie pointed to "fickle Raptors fans" who appear to have "soured against the team, expecting them to win NBA championship every year."
SportsNet host Sid Sixeiro tweeted that Raptors fans were "turned off and tuned out" after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tried to appeal to voters in a rap video wearing blackface and gold teeth.