LeBron James joins other stars to form a voting rights group

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and other big-name athletes are certainly doing a lot more than talking in today’s divisive political landscape.

Following the murder of George Floyd by a then-Minneapolis police officer back in May 25, sports stars have taken that next step in activism. Here’s the latest example.

LeBron James-led voting rights group.

On Wednesday, James joined the likes of fellow NBA star Trae Young, retired star Jalen Rose and the WNBA’s Skylar Diggins-Smith to form More Than a Vote. It’s a voting rights group aimed at helping African-Americans register to vote and remain active in the political scene.

“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 Jonathan Martin of The NY Times Wednesday. “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.”

While James did not specifically mention the current occupant of the White House, he did
“repurpose” President Donald Trump’s tag line, telling The NY Times that “we want to be beautiful once again.”

The era of “shut up and dribble” has now been replaced by a basketball community that’s more outspoken than ever before. For good reason. The murder of Mr. Floyd has sent shock waves throughout the United States, potentially foretelling a new era of racial equality in the United States. That’s evidenced by the mass protests taking place around the country right now.

More than getting the African-American community to vote, this is about protecting the voting rights of the minority population. It’s something we’ve seen come under fire in recent days, most notably the issues during Georgia’s primary election on Tuesday.

LeBron James off the court

The three-time NBA champion had in the past said that his off-court achievements will define his legacy more than his success on the court. He’s also going to use his platform on social media to point out voting issues facing the African-American population.

It was just last month that the first class from his I Promise School in Ohio graduated. This was no small thing for Mr. James.

LeBron James and President Trump

He continues to speak out against President Donald Trump and others, as well. Now that James is taking a more hands-on approach in politics, this could have wide-ranging ramifications for the 2020 Presidential Election and moving forward.

A higher proportion of African-Americans voting wouldn’t necessarily be a great thing for the incumbent president, ideally leading to the type of change James and his ilk are striving for.