NBA

LeBron James Paying For Convicted Felons to Get Out and Vote

LeBron James has been outspoken on racial injustice issues, especially in recent months. With such a high profile, he has readily used his platform to call out the various inequalities regularly faced by the Black community. Now, with the 2020 presidential election just weeks away, James has stepped up his game and is actively working to get out the vote. And he’s doing it in the most unique way by assisting former prisoners in regaining their ability to participate in the most fundamental human right of democracy.

LeBron James vocal since George Floyd’s death

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When George Floyd died in late May, many athletes used their various platforms to express outrage at yet another Black person killed at the hands of police. LeBron James was one of the most vocal.

Just 24 hours after Floyd’s death, James shared a graphic on Instagram that featured two images side by side. One image included the Minneapolis police officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck. The other showed Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem. The caption read, “This…” above the image with Floyd and “…Is Why” above Kaepernick’s image. 

Just a few weeks later on June 10, James posted a photo on Instagram of him wearing a shirt that read, “EQUALITY” spelled backward. In essence, the shirt was saying looking at James is looking in a mirror at yourself. The Golden Rule. Do unto others. James wrote: “What More You Want From US?!?!?! #Equality

LeBron James launches More Than a Vote

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On that same day, LeBron James announced that he and his childhood friend and business partner Maverick Carter were launching More Than a Vote. This new organization was formed to engage with the Black community in voter-related topics, including voter suppression and voter turnout. 

Carter told the New York times the organization would be pressing Black people to consider what they are asking of their politicians and what changes they want to see.  

Other founding members of the organization included current and former basketball players Trae Young, Skylar Diggins-Smith, and Jalen Rose. Since its launch in June, the organization has welcomed a who’s who of athletes on board, including Patrick Mahomes, Odell Beckham Jr., Damian Lillard, A’Ja Wilson, and Deandre Hopkins. 

More Than a Vote helping pay felons’ fines 

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In 2018, Florida voters passed an amendment to restore the rights to vote for the felon population. Since that time, the Republican-led legislature imposed restrictions on the amendment that required felons to pay back fines and fees before they could be eligible to vote.

When More Than A Vote learned of this move, the organization committed to donating $100,000 to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, one of the key groups behind the 2018 amendment. 

Now, with James battling in the Western Conference Finals and the election just weeks away, the organization is living up to its commitment and working tirelessly to identify felons who would be eligible to vote if their fines were paid. 

According to Outkick the Coverage, the two organizations are reportedly sending text messages with a website link to residents for the purpose of forwarding them to felons who need financial assistance. 

In this day and age of technology, LeBron James and the More Than A Vote team have taken their voting game to the next level. And with James involved, you know there’s a high probability of success.