L.A. Lakers star LeBron James has joined a group of athletes who are working to thwart “voter suppression” of blacks in American elections.
The group, going by the name More Than a Vote, is a voter registration drive for black voters along with an effort to expose what they claim is voter suppression all with the aim of spurring voters to get to the polls and vote in November.
“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 pledged to use his social media presence to combat voter suppression by posting about attempts to restrict blacks from voting.
“Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial,” James added. “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.
“Just shows that racism will always be a part of the world, part of America,” James exclaimed. “Hate in America, especially for African Americans, is living every day. It is hidden most days. It is alive every single day. I think back to Emmett Till’s mom and the reason she had an open casket: She wanted to show the world what her son went through in terms of a hate crime in America. No matter how much money you have, how famous you are, how much people admire you, being black in America is tough.”
Other athletes involved in the get-out-the-vote effort include Eric Bledsoe, Draymond Green, Trae Young, and Alvin Kamara, Udonis Haslem, Sam Perkins, Stephen Jackson, and Skylar Diggins-Smith. Comedian Kevin Hart and ESPN analyst Jalen Rose are also part of the group.
James and his business partner Maverick Carter are putting up the initial funding for the group.
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