LeBron James is creating a voting rights group aimed in part at motivating African Americans to cast ballots in November, the NBA star told The New York Times on Wednesday.
James told the Times that the idea to form the group, More Than a Vote, was fueled by the worldwide protests over racial inequality and police brutality sparked by the death of George Floyd in police custody.
“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.”
Other current and former basketball stars are also involved the effort, including Trae Young, Skylar Diggins-Smith and Jalen Rose.
James also has a commitment from comedian Kevin Hart and is speaking to a number of musicians, according to the Times.
Young, a 21-year-old player with the Atlanta Hawks, told the Times he hopes to be a “role model” for his generation and inspire young voters to turn out.
"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," Young said.
In addition to looking to turn out voters, James said he wants to use his platform on social media to help combat voter suppression.
“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.”
More Than a Vote will team up with voting rights organizations, including When We All Vote and Stacey Abrams’s Fair Fight, according to the Times.
James and business partner Maverick Carter are putting up the initial funding for the organization, according to the Times.