NBA player LeBron James has joined a team of other black athletes and entertainers to form More Than a Vote, an organization that will dedicate at least part of its efforts to safeguarding African-American voting rights.
The announcement comes as the nation grapples with a litany of protests against systemic racism and police brutality in response to the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis. The officers involved in the killing have all been charged.
“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 told 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.”
James added that he would use his social media presence to spotlight voter suppression and other forms of disenfranchisement.
“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.”
James’s effort comes just a couple of short months after former First Lady Michelle Obama and her voting rights group When We All Vote dedicated time and energy to advocating for vote-by-mail options amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“There is nothing partisan about striving to live up to the promise of our country; making the democracy we all cherish more accessible; and protecting our neighbors, friends and loved ones as they participate in this cornerstone of American life,” she said in a statement provided to Axios in April.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.