LeBron James and Patrick Mahomes joined a group of sports stars who signed onto a letter calling for an end to what they claim is the “suppression” of black voters ahead of the 2020 election.
Addressed to “our fans of every age, race and gender,” the players then immediately pivoted to address the rioters who flooded the streets of America’s biggest cities over the last few months, the Undefeated reported.
“We saw you in the streets,” the letter states. “We saw your social media posts. Your voices are breaking through, but it’s now time to do more. We know you have the ability to organize. So join us and take your protest to the election and fight to keep our community from being silenced.
“The most important thing you all need to know is Black voters matter more than ever,” the players continued.
The letter goes on to tout James’ More Than A Vote organization and tells fans, “one solution that More Than A Vote is working on is to convert as many arenas and sports facilities as possible into voting precincts.”
James and a group of other NBA players announced the launch of their organization aimed at fighting “voter suppression” in June, about two weeks after the police-involved death of Minneapolis man George Floyd.
“This all came together during the protests against police brutality,” James told The Undefeated. “All of us were angry, which we still are, and wanted to do something with real impact right now. We didn’t want to talk about it. We organized around voter suppression in our community because it’s very real, and if we want actual change, it’s going to start by educating, energizing, and protecting Black voters in 2020.
“Others who signed the letter,” the site reported, “are Emmanuel Acho, Ray Allen, Jozy Altidore, Tim Anderson, Mo Bamba, Odell Beckham Jr., Eric Bledsoe, Toni Braxton, Bun B, Caron Butler, Carlton Davis, Skylar Diggins, Jeremy Ebobisse, Mike Evans, Draymond Green, Brittney Griner, Kevin Hart, Udonis Haslem, Andrew Hawkins, Jason Heyward, DeAndre Hopkins, Alvin Kamara, Damian Lillard, Kyle Lowry, CJ McCollum, Renee Montgomery, Justin Morrow, Arike Ogunbowale, Dare Ogunbowale, Chiney Ogwumike, Jeff Okudah, Kendrick Perkins, David Price, Jalen Rose, CC Sabathia, Ben Simmons, Sloane Stephens, Marcus Stroman, Maria Taylor, Kristi Toliver, Michael Vick, Bobby Wagner, A’ja Wilson, and Trae Young.”
We are a coalition of Black athletes and artists who have come together to fight systemic racism's impact on our community's right to vote.
— More Than A Vote (@morethanavote) August 17, 2020
When he launched the group, James claimed that one way the organization would help blacks is to serve as a place for voting information. “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,” he said.
But he also insisted that the U.S. was thoroughly racist, so his group was needed to stop “suppression.”
“Just shows that racism will always be a part of the world, part of America,” James insisted. “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.”
Despite the claims about “voter suppression,” election statistics show that black voters have a higher participation rate than white voters. Indeed, black turnout has grown every election year since 1990.
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