Los Angeles Laker LeBron James is joining with other athletes to form a Black voting rights and minority empowerment organization, in light of worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
The organization, which will be named More Than a Vote, will in part encourage Black voters to cast their ballots in November, as well as fight minority voter suppression and deal with other issues, James told The Times.
“Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial,” James told The Times. “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 NBA icon’s electoral venture is his latest undertaking into the realm of politics: he previously attended a campaign rally for former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump.
James said he was compelled to “to get out and do a little bit more” in light of the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes.
Floyd’s death sparked protests across the US and around the world demanding justice for Black individuals who were killed by the police.
“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 Times. “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.”
James is joined by other current and former basketball stars in the making of More Than a Vote, including Trae Young, Skylar Diggins-Smith, and Jalen Rose, The Times reported.
“I’m sick of seeing unarmed Black men killed by the police,” Diggins-Smith told The Times. She added that she wanted “to put some action behind my frustrations, behind my anger, behind the helplessness that I’ve been feeling.”
Young, 21, said he was hoping to be a “role model for my generation” through his participation in the voting rights group.
“If people my age see that I’m going out and I’m voting and I’m talking, maybe the next 21-year-old will,” he told The Times.