It’s going to be a busy fall for LeBron James. Should the forward lead the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA finals, he’ll be on the court until October. But there’s a more pressing matter he’s concerned with shortly after: the presidential general election on November 3. LeBron, 35, a passionate political activist, announced in The New York Times that he and a group of Black athletes and entertainers have created a voting rights organization called More Than A Vote. Here’s what you should know about it:
1. More Than A Vote has two goals. In the wake of George Floyd‘s unjust death, the organization aims to energize Black voters and fight voter suppression — major issues in the United States, especially during the presidential election. “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.”
2. It’s a nonpartisan organization. More Than A Vote is not backing a candidate in the 2020 election, but LeBron did say that they’ve considered reaching out to former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden, 77, recently became the Democratic nominee, and will go head-to-head with President Donald Trump come November. “We’ll see if we can help a candidate here and there,” he said. LeBron made no mention of Trump in his interview, but did repurpose his MAGA slogan for the cause, explaining that, “we want to be beautiful once again.”
3. It’s backed by an incredible group of athletes and entertainers. Each backing member has pledged to work in specific communities: Milwaukee Bucks’ Eric Bledsoe (Milwaukee), Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green (Saginaw and East Lansing, Michigan), Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young and New Orleans Saints’ Alvin Kamara (Atlanta), Miami Heat’s Udonis Haslem (Miami), NBA retirees Stephen Jackson and Sam Perkins (Houston), and Phoenix Mercury’s Skylar Diggins-Smith (Phoenix). Kevin Hart is also joining the fight and repping Philadelphia.
4. LeBron said he wants to emulate the work of athletes before him who called for social justice. “I’m inspired by the likes of Muhammad Ali, I’m inspired by the Bill Russells and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbars, the Oscar Robertsons — those guys who stood when the times were even way worse than they are today,” he told The New York Times. “Hopefully, someday down the line, people will recognize me not only for the way I approached the game of basketball, but the way I approached life as an African-American man.”
5. It will partner with other prominent voter rights organizations. That includes Michelle Obama‘s When We All Vote, as well as Fair Fight. LeBron has savvy political advisors on his side: Adam Mendelsohn, a former political strategist, Addisu Demissie, Senator Cory Booker‘s 2020 presidential campaign manager, and Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s Secretary of State.
If you haven’t registered to vote yet, there’s still time to make it happen. Fill out the form below, courtesy of our friends at Rock The Vote, and let your voice be heard in the 2020 election!