The debate over voting rights is heating up in the United States. At the forefront of the discussion is the February announcement by Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, who tweeted that he would instruct his attorneys general to pursue voter fraud charges against voters who commit fraudulent behavior. Trump’s actions immediately caused a firestorm of controversy, as his claims of voter fraud were disputed by the fact that voter fraud is exceedingly rare.
The NBA’s biggest stars are planning to take a stand against modern day slavery and help to fight for prison reform in ways that transcend the game. Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Steph Curry and Chris Paul are among the players who plan to wear a T-shirt in their game against the Golden State Warriors this Tuesday that reads “I CAN’t” in large block letters on the front, with the back of the shirt displaying an advertisement to raise awareness of human trafficking and the modern day slave trade, which is estimated to affect as many as 40 million people around the world, according to the United Nations.
The More Than a Vote organization founded by Los Angeles Lakers player LeBron James had a significant effect on voting rights, particularly during election season in 2020. The organization now hopes to have an impact on criminal justice reform.
More than a basketball player, James has always been. He is a cultural powerhouse who has dabbled in acting and teaching. He’s also someone who’s always worked to reduce social inequity, which seems to be the aim of this new action.
During election season, LeBron James’ More Than a Vote organization had a significant impact.
More Than a Vote, the voting-access group LeBron James founded ahead of the 2020 election, is “not just a one-off,” according to James. It’ll be engaged in Georgia’s runoff elections and beyond.
“We’re going to keep looking for new methods to make a difference.” https://t.co/icraBJxJeV
November 21, 2020 — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1)
Following the murder of George Floyd in May of 2020, LeBron James was one of several NBA players who spoke out against police violence. Anger and fury drove me to take action.
In June of that year, the Lakers forward established the More Than a Vote organization, collecting the help of several well-known investors and pooling money to fight voting suppression, particularly against African-Americans.
The organization lost no time in offering tools and raising awareness about voting rights. More Than a Vote campaigned against racial voting restrictions in Georgia and subsequently in Kentucky.
Prior to the 2020 general election, James and his team increased their efforts. According to CNN, the group recruited the help of 10,000 volunteer poll workers. It went after voting stations in a number of major American cities.
Following the general election, More Than a Vote was hardly noticeable. During the Georgia Senate runoff, the organization made another effort and subsequently launched a “Protect Our Power” campaign.
While James and More Than a Vote continue to fight on voting rights, they are also hope to make progress on criminal justice reform.
More Than a Vote is starting a campaign called “Protect Our People.”
James’ More Than a Vote, a voting rights group https://t.co/dOSa7kLWB8, is spearheading the “Protect Our People” campaign.
— July 28, 2021, KION News 5 46 (@KION546)
During an episode of HBO’s The Shop, James announced More Than a Vote’s criminal justice campaign.
The program dealt with police murders as well as a broader discussion of social justice. Finally, it was announced that More Than a Vote will be starting a criminal justice reform campaign called “Protect Our People.” A spokesperson for the group, Michael Tyler, said it’s a reflection of a group that’s always been about more than just one election.
“2020 shown that when athletes speak up about problems that are important to them, people pay attention. This endeavor was never about one election, as we stated at the start of the year,” Tyler remarked, according to the New York Times. “The Protect Our People campaign will take the proven concept of leveraging athlete activism in political politics and apply it to the continuing battle to alter public opinion and criminal justice systems that disproportionately affect Black communities.”
The campaign is currently in progress. More Than a Vote is circulating billboards urging senators to support the George Floyd Policing Act. It also aims to bring about change at a local level.
Off the court, LeBron’s legacy
James has accomplished a great deal both on and off the court | Christian Petersen/Getty Images
James may be the Lakers’ talisman and one of the best basketball players to ever put on a pair of shoes. Nonetheless, his off-the-court accomplishments deserve equal recognition as his on-court accomplishments.
LeBron James’ I Promise School has aided a large number of young people in Northeast Ohio. He has worked to empower disenfranchised voting groups throughout the nation and is currently working to make criminal justice reform more equitable.
Fans will undoubtedly be interested to watch how James and a new-look Lakers team bounce back following an early playoff exit last season. Long after his playing days are through, though, James’ off-court endeavors are likely to have a more concrete and resonant effect.
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