Lebron James is starting a nonprofit called “More Than A Vote” to motivate African-Americans to register and to cast a ballot in November. That includes raising awareness of voter suppression as fears of the political tactic to maintain power persist as November’s elections approach. But, this will be more than your regular get-out-and-vote campaign.
LeBron, joined by Trae Young, Draymond Green, Skylar Diggins-Smith, and Jalen Rose, among others, will use his platform to combat voter suppression and would be vocal about drawing attention to any attempts to restrict the franchise of racial minorities. A great movement and yet another step LeBron is taking toward fulfilling his prediction – that his greatest legacy will come from his off-the-court achievements. Last year, LeBron had a different approach to social injustice.
Not so long ago, Adam Silver‘s biggest concern were the “fairly dramatic financial consequences” after Daryl Morey tweeted in support of Hong Kong protestors. LeBron was in China at the time and called Morey’s support for the city’s protesters “misinformed,” adding he believes Morey is not educated about the situation. Those are classic Chinese talking points whenever they are criticized for human rights violations.
This isn’t the first time LeBron dodged to be more than an athlete when it comes to China. In 2007, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Ira Newble wrote an open letter criticizing China’s role in the Darfur genocide. While most of Newble’s teammates signed the letter, only two did not: Damon Jones and LeBron James. Again, LeBron said he “didn’t have enough information about the issue to take a stand.” He just can’t seem to get time to read up on China.
The Chinese government is preparing a law expected to levy harsher sentences against Hong Kong residents convicted of supporting secession or cooperating with foreign powers, among other offenses. In response, the United Kingdom announced they are considering passing legislation that would make it possible for Hong Kong citizens a straightforward path toward UK citizenship.
The NBA has more pressing issues than its relationship with China right now, but sooner than later, LeBron and other NBA players will be put to the test of consistency. We know they had more than enough time to get “educated” so they are not “misinformed” about the country that produces and purchases a large part of their merch.