NBA superstar LeBron James claims that the votes of black people do not “matter” in America, noting that he’s seen “recounts,” an apparent suggestion that black votes have been intentionally voided in his lifetime.
“Black people in the community don’t believe that their vote matters,” James said, explaining why he was apathetic about voting when he was younger.
“We grow up and don’t think that our vote actually matters. It doesn’t,” he emphasized. “We’ve seen recounts before. We’ve seen our voices be muted our whole lives.”
James’ feelings on the apparent disenfranchisement of black voters sparked the athlete to found an organization called “More Than A Vote,” which includes an emphasis on giving voting rights to felons.
The Daily Wire reported in July that James dumped $100,000 into the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition through his “More Than A Vote” organization, which is comprised of black athletes and artists working to combat “systemic, racist voter suppression.”
The “More Than A Vote” initiative seeks to utilize sports arenas as in-person balloting venues to bolster black turnout during the 2020 election.
James, whose net worth is estimated at $450 million, said in July that there is no “movement” for black Americans in the U.S. “When you’re black, it’s not a movement. It’s a lifestyle,” he said, later adding, “I don’t like the word ‘movement’ because, unfortunately, in America and in society, there ain’t been no damn movement for us.”
“It’s just heartbreaking,” said the L.A. Laker, according to ESPN. “You guys don’t understand. Unless you’re a person of color, you guys don’t understand. I understand you might feel for us. But you will never truly understand what it is to be black in America.”
“A lot of people kind of use this analogy, talking about Black Lives Matter as a movement. It’s not a movement,” James continued. “When you’re black, it’s not a movement. It’s a lifestyle. We sit here and say it’s a movement, and, OK, how long is this movement going to last? ‘Don’t stop the movement.’ No, this is a walk of life. When you wake up and you’re Black, that is what it is. It shouldn’t be a movement. It should be a lifestyle. This is who we are. … I don’t like the word ‘movement’ because, unfortunately, in America and in society, there ain’t been no damn movement for us. There ain’t been no movement.”
Back in May, James claimed that black men in America are “literally hunted everyday/everytime” they leave their homes.
“We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!” he tweeted in reaction to the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, who is black.
“Can’t even go for a damn jog man!” continued the NBA star. “Like [what the f***] man are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!? No man fr ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!! I’m sorry Ahmaud (Rest In Paradise) and my prayers and blessings sent to the […] heavens above to your family!!”
In 2014, James wore an “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirt before a Cleveland NBA game, a nod to Eric Garner, who died after a confrontation with a New York Police Department officer. He’s also been vocal in his support for Colin Kaepernick, the former 49ers QB who refused to stand for the national anthem in protest of “systemic racism” in America and police brutality.