By Ken Reed

LeBron James got off to a slow start as an activist. He seemed to be following the Michael Jordan model of not getting involved in political and socio-cultural issues. When asked to get involved, he declined. He basically self-imposed a “shut-up and dribble” edict on himself.

But in recent years, he’s not only begun to regularly speak out on issues but to take specific actions to positively impact society.

His most recent initiative is a group called More Than a Vote. It is much more than a typical “Get Out the Vote” effort. James and other athletes, including Draymond Green, Trae Young, Jalen Rose and Skylar Diggins-Smith will work to combat voter suppression through More Than a Vote.

The recent primary election snafu in Georgia, in which huge, hours-long, lines were seen at some polling places, while other polling places never opened (supposedly due to the coronavirus), along with the inability to easily get an absentee ballot, revealed how badly an effort to combat voter suppression, like More Than a Vote, is needed in this country.

“Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial,” said James in a New York Times interview.

“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.”

James has a huge social media presence, with more than 136 million followers combined on his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds. Given the social climate in this country, James’ efforts to pressure lawmakers to stop suppressing the voting rights of minorities will undoubtedly be widely broadcast.

More Than a Vote has already attracted the attention of a lot of notables, including Hillary Clinton who tweeted, “Good news in the fight against voter suppression: @KingJames is coming onto the court.”

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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