Spurred by the death of George Floyd, a Black man in Minnesota who was killed by a white police officer, NBA superstar LeBron James said Wednesday that he’s launching a new initiative with a group of other renowned African American athletes and celebrities aimed at protecting Black voting rights.
James told The New York Times in an interview that Floyd’s death convinced him that he needed “to get out and do a little bit more” to empower and inspire African Americans across the nation to vote in the November election — and also to draw attention to efforts to suppress the votes of minority groups.
“Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial,” James said of the initiative, dubbed “More Than a Vote.” “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.”
Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Laker questioned on Twitter whether “how we vote is … structurally racist” after allegations of voter suppression plagued Georgia’s statewide primary elections.
According to the Times, James has already assembled several Black celebrities to be part of the voting rights project, including former and current basketball stars Trae Young, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Jalen Rose and Draymond Green, as well as NFL player Alvin Kamara and comedian Kevin Hart.