Los Angeles Lakers’ player LeBron James has announced that he and several other professional athletes have launched a charitable organization to protect black Americans’ voting rights according to The New York Times.
“Because of everything that’s going on, people are finally starting to listen to us—we feel like we’re finally getting a foot in the door,” James said in a phone interview with The New York Times. “How long is up to us. We don’t know. But we feel like we’re getting some ears and some attention, and this is the time for us to finally make a difference.”
The name of the nonprofit organization is More Than a Vote, which is in lockstep with his mantra “more than an athlete.” More Than a Vote will try to encourage black people to not only register and vote for the upcoming November election, but it plans to also expose voter suppression tactics, such as misinformation spread through social media.
James plans on using his social media platforms to try to combat the perils of voter suppression and he will be vocal about drawing attention to any attempts to restrict the enfranchisement of racial minorities.
“Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial,” James said. “We’re going to give you the background of how to vote and what they’re trying to do, the other side, to stop you from voting.”
Everyone talking about “how do we fix this?” They say “go out and vote?” What about asking if how we vote is also structurally racist? https://t.co/GFtq12eKKt
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 9, 2020
“I’m inspired by the likes of Muhammad Ali, I’m inspired by the Bill Russells and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbars, the Oscar Robertsons—those guys who stood when the times were even way worse than they are today,” James said. “Hopefully, someday down the line, people will recognize me not only for the way I approached the game of basketball but the way I approached life as an African American man.”
King James has already enlisted actor and businessman Kevin Hart and fellow basketball players Trae Young, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Jalen Rose, Draymond Green, Udonis Haslem, as well as NFL football player Alvin Kamara. James intends to add more prominent people as well.