It has been no secret that some have questioned the timing of the silence of Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James. Yes he can be a social justice Twitter warrior at times but many have made the argument that he needs to be on the front lines during this most recent fight for social justice.
Nevertheless James has recently teamed with other professional athletes to from a voting rights group. The genesis of the group is to protect the voting right of African Americans. Dubbed More than a Vote, the organization will target African Americans and encourage them to register to vote and to cast ballots during the next President Election in 2020.
During a phone interview with the media Wednesday James acknowledged that the death of George Floyd helped him to understand that he needed “to get out and do a little more”.
“Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial,” James said. “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.”
“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,” Mr. James said. “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.”
Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Oscar Robertson fought their battles on the front lines for many years and continue to do so even today. Can this different approach by James be successful? Some consider him as the most powerful voice in the world of sport but question the validity and sincerity of said voice.
“There’s a lot of people that want change in the black community,” Mr. James said, but he added, “if you actually don’t put in the work or if you don’t have the mind-set, there’s never going to be change.”