LeBron James is finishing only his second season with the Los Angeles Lakers, but he is already leaving his mark on local California communities. The three-time NBA champions’s More Than a Vote organization has teamed up with the L.A. Dodgers and their pitcher David Price to make Dodger Stadium a polling center for the Presidential election in November.
The stadium will meet all CDC and public health requirements to create a safe, socially distant environment for voters to cast their ballots. To increase accessibility, Dodger Stadium will also make its parking free to the registered voters.
Following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, James partnered with other prominent members of the Black community to launch the More Than a Vote group, aiming to protect the voting rights of African-Americans. Its efforts have now resulted in the Dodgers and Dodger Stadium becoming the first in MLB to commit to utilize their stadium for voting.
“This is exactly why we created More Than a Vote,” James said in a statement. “A lot of us now working together and here for every team who wants to follow the Dodgers lead and turn their stadium into a safer place for voting.
“I may still be new to LA but didn’t take long for me to learn how special the relationship is between the Dodgers and Lakers. We are all in this together.”
Dodger Stadium has already hosted L.A. County’s largest COVID-19 testing site and Los Angeles Unified School District’s virtual graduation among other civic initiatives to support the local community. “Dodger Stadium is part of the fabric of Los Angeles, and we’re proud to continue to partner with the County to make the property available for the benefit of the community at large,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla added: “The Los Angeles Dodgers hosting a vote center at Dodger Stadium is a home run for democracy.”
James learnt from Kaepernick about push for social justice
James, a vocal ally to the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight against racism, recently stressed the influence of Colin Kaepernick on his personal quest for social justice. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback first started taking a knee during the U.S. anthem back in 2016 to protest against racial inequality.
“Kaep has taught me a lot about that,” James said. “Kaep is someone who stood up when times weren’t comfortable.”
The overwhelming majority of NBA players, coaches, and referees followed in the footsteps of Kaepernick and took a knee during the anthem in the first seeding games in Orlando. “I hope we made Kaep proud, I hope we continue to make Kaep proud every single day,” James said of the protests.
“I hope I make him proud on how I live my life not only on the basketball floor but off the floor.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!