LeBron James has contacted other players in the league and with protagonists from the entertainment world to promote a new platform that promotes black voting in the United States, following protests across the country after the death of George Floyd at the hands of a policeman.
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« Because of everything that is happening, people are finally beginning to listen to us, we feel like we’re finally setting foot in the door. It’s up to us for how long. We don’t know. But we feel like we’re getting ears and attention, and that this it’s time for us to finally make a difference, « James said Wednesday, according to The New York Times.
The group will be called ‘More than a Vote’, derived from the motto ‘More than a Sportsman’ that accompanies James’ digital media platform called ‘Uninterrupted’.
On Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers star spoke by phone with several athletes to discuss the idea. Among them were former NBA players Steven Jackson – a friend of George Floyd -, Kendrick Perkins, Udonis Haslem and Jalen Rose; WNBA players Skylar Diggins-Smith and Chiney Ogwumike; NBA players Draymond Green, Eric Bledsoe and Trae Young; and NFL player Alvin Kamara.
The call lasted 45 minutes and included a heated discussion of the issues with passionate words from Green, Jackson and Perkins, according to a person familiar with the situation. Comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Bun B also plan to join the initiative.
The initial investment for the organization will come from James, its business partner. Maverick Carter, music industry executive Jimmy Iovine and the player’s investment adviser Paul Wachter. Among the group’s advisers are Adam Mendelsohn, James’ longtime media adviser, and Addisu Demissie, who is advising the presidential campaign on Joe Biden, a Democratic candidate for the White House.
The new platform wants to target states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Texas to fight voter repression. In addition, he also plans to work with existing voting rights groups such as’ Fair Fight, ‘which was initiated by Georgia Stacey Abrams’ policy, and’ When We All Vote, ‘which was released by former First Lady Michelle Obama.