NBA icon Lebron James has jumped feet first into his More Than a Vote initiative, already promising $100,000 to ensure voting rights for former felons in Florida.
More Than a Vote was formed by Lebron and several other basketball superstars last month, amid ongoing Black Lives Matter protests. At that time, he spoke to the New York Times about the objectives of the organization.
“Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial,” said Lebron. “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.”
Last week, Politico reported that the group plans to donate $100k to Florida Rights Restoration Coalition — an organization that works to help restore voting rights to ex-felons in Florida.
In 2018, a majority of Florida voters voted in favor of Amendment 4, which reinstates voting rights of former felons. Subsequently, the FL legislature created a law requiring ex-felons to pay off outstanding debts in connection with their conviction before they’re allowed to vote.
In partnership with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, More Than a Vote is working to ease the burden of of those hoping to cast a ballot in the 2020 election.
The generous donation will be supplemented with proceeds from an online screening of a documentary about civil rights leader and congressman, Rep. John Lewis, who died last week.
“This is a fight about their constitutional right to vote being denied,” Lebron wrote in a post on Twitter.
This is not the athlete’s first foray into the political sphere. In 2016, he attended a campaign rally for former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and has been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump. More recently, after his first scrimmage since quarantine began, Lebron called for justice for Breonna Taylor, who was killed by Louisville police in March.