Should LeBron James lead the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Finals, he’ll be playing basketball in October. However, there’s something even bigger that the Lakers’ star — and some of his friends and colleagues in the sports and entertainment world — are preparing for come November, James announced Wednesday.
James and a collection of black athletes and entertainers are teaming together in a new group geared toward energizing black voters and thwarting voter suppression in cities around the country that could prove critical in the upcoming 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, which reported on the initiative earlier Wednesday. “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.”
The nonprofit organization — named More Than a Vote, echoing James’ “more than an athlete” mantra — has a two-pronged mission to not only encourage African Americans to register and vote in November but also expose voter suppression tactics, such as misinformation spread through social media.
More Than a Vote is in its early stages, but it has already identified key states — and major cities within those states — where it hopes to have an impact, a source familiar with the organization told ESPN.
Some of the notable names on board, along with the communities in which they have planned outreach, include Eric Bledsoe (Milwaukee), Draymond Green (Saginaw and East Lansing, Michigan), Trae Young and Alvin Kamara (Atlanta), Udonis Haslem (Miami), Sam Perkins and Stephen Jackson (Houston), Skylar Diggins-Smith (Phoenix) and come