The 2020 Presidential Election was arguably the most important in recent history and a lot of work went into giving the American people as many options to vote around the country.
The Los Angeles Lakers and many other sports franchises around the country would take a major step in allowing arenas to be used as polling places, working with LeBron James’ More Than A Vote program.
The Lakers franchise as a whole has been outspoken on a number of social issues, including those that NBA players are passionate about. The team even took steps to help themselves on that front internally by hiring Dr. Karida Brown as director of racial equity and action.
In an interview with Mike Trudell, Brown spoke about the process that went into utilizing Staples Center as a polling place
“This was not an easy feat, or a foregone conclusion that we’d be able to do this. We lease the STAPLES CENTER, we do not own it, so we had to make sure that all stakeholders involved were comfortable in a position to act on this, and that we could deliver on the safety piece. This wasn’t just a Lakers decision. We had to work with L.A. County, with our partners at AEG and the Sparks and the Kings, with public health officials to make this happen.
“It’s also important to note that it’s unprecedented in United States history. Never before in American history have sports franchises intervened in the political process by offering their stadiums, so there were a lot of unknowns. We had to figure this out by the seat of our pants. I give tremendous credit and pride to Jeanie Buss and Tim Harris for taking the leadership on this, and doing what it took to make this thing a reality. Because, again, it was no easy feat.”
There was undoubtedly a lot that had to happen in order for Staples Center to be used as a voting center, especially with the ongoing pandemic continuing on, but everyone was committed to making it happen.
All parties made sure that the democratic process of voting would take place without issue and for that they should be commended.
Lakers director of racial equity and action Karida Brown ‘resource to everybody’
Brown was brought into the Lakers organization over the summer as many players spoke passionately about the ongoing fight for social justice and racial equality. The Lakers looked within and felt that there was more they could do inside their own organization.
The Lakers view Brown as a resource to everyone in the organization, but will be primarily working with the team’s employees and not just players, coaches and front office members.
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