LeBron James has a two-part plan under a new organization that he has started called More Than a Vote. The plan is to encourage people in the Black community to register to vote and hit the polls, especially in November’s general election. The NBA star and his partners also will fight voter suppression through the organization.
ESPN reports that More Than a Vote was started shortly after the death of George Floyd, the Minneapolis Black man who died on May 25 as a result of white police officer pressing a knee on the handcuffed man’s neck, a caught-on-video encounter that sparked nationwide outrage and protests.
Some of James’ partners in the nonprofit include people from the NBA, WNBA, and the entertainment world like Trae Young, Alvin Kamara, Draymond Green, Eric Bledsoe, Udonis Haslem, Sam Perkins, Stephen Jackson, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Kevin Hart.
Former political strategist Adam Mendelsohn has also joined the organization, as did Addisu Demissie, who was New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s campaign manager during his run for president in this election cycle.
James spoke with some of those people after protests began to spread across the United States in recent weeks and talked to Jackson, who knew Floyd as a child when they lived in Houston, Texas.
More Than a Vote will partner with voting rights organizations in multiple swing states to get their message out, since James feels it’s the ideal time for Blacks to make sweeping change.
“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. How long is up to us. We don’t know,” he recently told The New York Times. “But we feel like we’re getting some ears and some attention, and this is the time for us to finally make a difference.”
“Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial,” added James. “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.”
On June 9, primaries were held in Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia, Nevada, and North Dakota, and some who voted in predominately Black neighborhoods complained of long lines and other problems. In Georgia, for example, one woman had to wait hours to cast her vote.
“Took @MsLaToshaBrown 3hrs to vote today in GA,” a Politico reporter tweeted that day. “Then Brown drove over to predominantly white polling site in Atl suburbs ‘I come over to this side of town, and white folks are strolling in. On my side of town, we brought stadium chairs.’”
James noticed that tweet and wrote, “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?”