LeBron James founds voting rights group to stop suppression of Black voters
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) wears an " I Can't Breathe" t-shirt during warm ups prior to the game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center in New York City December 8, 2014. REUTERS/USA Today Sports/Robert Deutsch

On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that basketball superstar LeBron James is forming a new voting rights group intended to protect the ballot for African-American voters.

"The organization, called More Than a Vote, will partly be aimed at inspiring African-Americans to register and to cast a ballot in November," wrote Jonathan Martin. "But as the name of the group suggests, Mr. James and other current and former basketball stars — including Trae Young, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Jalen Rose — will go well beyond traditional celebrity get-out-the-vote efforts. Mr. James, 35, said he would use his high-profile platform on social media to combat voter suppression and would be vocal about drawing attention to any attempts to restrict the franchise of racial minorities."

“Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial,” said James. “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.”

"The new organization represents Mr. James’s most significant foray yet into electoral politics," said the report. "Until now ... his political involvement has mostly been limited to speaking out on social media and appearing at a single rally late in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. The death last month of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police, however, helped convince Mr. James that he needed 'to get out and do a little bit more.'"

“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,” James added. “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.”

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