NBA superstar LeBron James along with other Black “athletes and artists” are taking on the Republicans. The state politicians have already filed 230 bills to limit voter access after they lost the House, the Senate, and the White House. There was nothing easy about James’ efforts, but he did not give up.
James founded More Than A Vote before the 2020 election. It gave James a way to help register Black voters and urge them to turn out in November 2020, according to CNN. This in the midst of wide criticism, as reported by ESPN in this YouTube video, saying James should just stick with sports.
James was not alone. Others who joined were the National Football League’s (NFL’s) Kansas City Chief’s quarterback in the 2021 Superbowl Patrick Mahomes, “American tennis star Sloane Stephens, and comedian Kevin Hart.”
They will use the 2021 National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game in Atlanta to point to Georgia Republican’s attempts to repress votes. The athletes’ latest campaign, Protect Our Power, continues the effort.
We see James speaking with activism videos behind him:
‘Look what we did. Look what we made happen. What our voices made possible. And now, look what they’re trying to do to silence us. Using every trick in the book. And attacking democracy itself. Because they saw what we’re capable of and they fear it.’
‘So this isn’t the time to put your feet up or to think posting hashtags and black squares is enough. Because for us, this was never about one election. It’s always been More Than A Vote. It’s a fight that’s just getting started. And we’ve been ready. You with us?’
The Executive Director of More Than A Vote Addisu Demissie comments:
‘We are in a position to let the world know and, in particular, let people who are new to the process or not as engaged with politics know, that these fights around voter suppression don’t just take place during an election year.’
A new 30-second ad is set to premiere during the All-Star Game Sunday. It is a milestone in the expanding issue of voter rights. The organization partnered with the National Basketball Association (NBA) plus the players’ union.
The spokesperson for the group Michael Tyler commented:
‘[We want to emphasize] there has been a change of leadership at the federal level, in order to secure lasting justice, people have to maintain a sense of engagement at the local and state level year in and year out.’
In addition, the organization wants to show people that the athletes’ activism during Donald Trump’s time in office would continue whether or not he stayed in the White House:
‘We called ourselves more than a vote for a reason. This is us planting the flag that athletes being activists is not just going to stop because the 2020 election cycle is over.’
‘[He said we would] never shut up about things that are wrong. [There is] no way I would ever just stick to sports, because I understand how powerful this platform and my voice is.’
WNBA player Renee Montgomery joined More Than A Vote and refused to play during the 2020 season. Instead, she focused on social justice. Now, she co-owns the Atlanta Dream, which is where she played:
‘Black and brown voters changed the game in 2020, so in response, lawmakers are trying to change the rules in 2021. We know that as athletes and as leaders we have to keep our foot on the gas to protect our power, preserve and expand our voting rights, and to continue turning moments into momentum. More Than a Vote is just getting started.’
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