Throughout the past year, athletes around the country have taken front and center in the fight for equal justice. They’ve led marches, made their voices heard on social media, contributed money to various initiatives, and used their platforms and their considerable influence to raise awareness and institute change.
In response, they’ve been vilified and targeted by those who would seek to stifle their efforts, they’ve been called un-American and un-patriotic (and worse), and they’ve been told by many on the right that they should simply “stick to sports.” Thankfully, they’ve listened to it all and kept moving forward.
And after the events in Washington this week, when radical, violent Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol building in a failed and short-lived — but no less horrifying — coup attempt, athletes around the country have called out the utter hypocrisy in the way they’ve been criticized in light of how the predominately white rioters in Washington were able to proceed mostly unabated.
On Friday, they put words and images to those sentiments in a powerful new ad for the More Than a Vote campaign.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 8, 2021
In the ad, they promised never to simply “shut up and dribble” and instead press on in their quest to help the disenfranchised have their voices heard. During the November election, More Than a Vote made a huge impact on voter registration in this country, where people of color have roundly been subject to widespread suppression tactics.
They also promised to keep the fight going. Even with the incoming Joe Biden administration, there is still plenty of work to be done, and athletes will once again be at the center of those efforts in the future, exercising their most American of rights to demand justice from those in power and to help those who have been victimized by our institutions for far too long.