LeBron James has been putting a ton of effort into his More Than A Vote program which has worked with franchises around the country to turn arenas and stadiums into voting places. With numerous teams already doing so, it felt like only a matter of time before James’ own Los Angeles Lakers followed suit.
Dodgers Stadium had already agreed to do so and now Staples Center has done the same, partnering with the Lakers to become a voting site for November’s General Election. In the wake of the NBA players’ recent boycott many have called for more actions in order to help push towards the goals that they have spoken so passionately about.
“It means everything. To know that Staples Center is going to be a polling site for voting is unbelievable. It’s something that we need,” James said. “It’s something that we not only need in Los Angeles but in a lot of our NBA cities; trying to get all 30 franchises and NBA arenas to open up.
“At the same time, the Laker relationship, and the Dodgers and using Dodger Stadium as well, and we’re hopefully going to have some other arenas and stadiums before November. Kudos to Staples Center, kudos to the Lakers organization. I’m just proud to be a part of it.”
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel was aware it was something the Lakers had been working on and believes this move is something that can play a big role. “I’m not sure what happened in the last couple of days, but obviously with what the players did in terms of sitting out games and making sure we address these issues of potentially using NBA arenas for voting sites, really, really helps the cause,” Vogel said.
“This is positive change. This is what we’re all in this for. We’re going to be vocal, but it’s really about action. This is a huge step for creating a venue where there’s not going to be any reason for people in the L.A. community and county to not vote.”
It is these types of actions that were the entire purpose of the players’ boycott and what will need to continue in order for it to be considered truly successful. Even though the players are back on the court now, Vogel believes it’s a good thing.
“I’m happy that we returned to play. I think that continues to give the players the ability to grow their platform where if we weren’t playing, it could potentially go away or be reduced” Vogel noted.
“Obviously, there’s two things that happened. One, an incredible amount of awareness was brought to the situation with the pause or whatever you want to call it; the work stoppage. It was contagious amongst other sports, and over those few days, we continued to ramp up the action items that are going into place. You see that with what’s happening at the Staples Center and around the country in NBA arenas. A lot of positive is going to come from this.”
There is still plenty of work to be done as the NBA and its players, coaches and staff continue to fight for racial equality but steps continue to be taken and the players have been true to their word about not letting that message die out.
LeBron Sought Advice From Barack Obama
When the NBA players decided to boycott playoff games it garnered a ton of attention nationwide as players took a stand in order to place focus back on the fight for racial equality following the shooting by police on unarmed Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Leaders emerged as players decided on the next steps with Players Association president Chris Paul and vice president Andre Iguodala taking the lead. James was also one of the most outspoken players as well, as has long been the case on any social issues.
In trying to figure out their next move, James sought the advice of former United States President Barack Obama. The former President is an inspiring figure to many players and is someone who everyone would listen to.
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