IndyStar reports LeBron James has not only become disgusted with the disturbing trend of law-enforcement officials killing unarmed black men. The Los Angeles Lakers star also pointed out how the long lines in certain neighborhoods during this week’s Georgia primary elections mark yet another example of systemic racism.
James was responding to a Politico reporter’s tweet that election lines took hours in some Atlanta neighborhoods while there were no long waits in white, suburban areas.
“Everyone talking about ‘How do we fix this?’ ” LeBron tweeted. “They say, ‘Go out and vote?’ What about asking if how we vote is also structurally racist?”
Everyone talking about “how do we fix this?” They say “go out and vote?” What about asking if how we vote is also structurally racist? https://t.co/GFtq12eKKt
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 9, 2020
Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters that he “was in and out in about 20 minutes.” Others were not as fortunate. USA TODAY detailed that “voters reported hours-long lines and issues with voting machines” amid a reduced number of voting locations and polling workers because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite those issues, Pierce urged for strong voter turnout amid frustration over George Floyd recently being killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis.
“It’s important to vote every year,” Pierce said before referring to the United States’ previous ban on women and black people voting. “It is a right we all have. We need to exercise that right. So obviously with what’s going on, understanding how voting impacts your local, your state, your government officials and changing laws and impacting laws and impacting change. It all starts with voting and being educated on why you should vote.”
But as James’ tweet details, that has only presented more racial issues to address.
Per TheHill, 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.