In an effort to combat the onslaught of legislation being introduced by Republicans across the country to diminish voting rights, CNN reports LeBron James’ More Than A Vote organization will use the 2021 NBA All-Star game to launch its “Protect Our Power” campaign tonight (March 7) in Atlanta, Georgia.
A 30-second commercial will run during TNT’s pre-game coverage, highlighting the turn of events that have taken place after the historic 2020 presidential election.
Within the full-length video, titled “You With Us?” James discusses the impact voters made last year as he calls out lawmakers attempting to make voting more difficult.
“Look what we did,” he says. “Look what we made happen. What our voices made possible. And now look what they’re trying to do to silence us. Using every trick in the book. And attacking democracy itself. Because they saw what we’re capable of and they fear it.”
“So this isn’t the time to put your feet up or to think posting hashtags and black squares is enough,” he continues. “Because for us, this was never about one election. It’s always been More Than A Vote. It’s a fight that’s just getting started. And we’ve been ready. You with us?”
More Than A Vote has also teamed up with the National Basketball Players Association, and local organizations like Black Voters Matter, Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight Action, the Georgia NAACP and the New Georgia Project to focus their efforts on the state of Georgia.
Georgia Republicans upset because of the results of the presidential election and the subsequent state Senate runoff, introduced several controversial bills aimed at repealing voter rights. If voted into law, House Bill 531 — which passed in the Georgia House of Representatives one week ago — would place detrimental restrictions on ballot drop boxes, absentee voting, limit Sunday voting, and prevent food and drinks from being handed out to voters in line.
Look at how they’re trying to silence us:⁰ slashing early voting⁰ curbing Black church voting drives— More Than A Vote (@morethanavote) March 5, 2021
banning no-excuse vote by mail
ending automatic voter registration
Black voters already wait in the longest lines. Why make voting harder? https://t.co/njnYLhdsGb pic.twitter.com/NXfZK5vTqg
More Than A Vote’s executive director Addisu Demissie believes we’ve reached a pivotal moment.
“We are in a position to let the world know and, in particular, let people who are new to the process or not as engaged with politics know, that these fights around voter suppression don’t just take place during an election year,” he said. “This is us planting the flag that athletes being activists is not just going to stop because the 2020 election cycle is over.”
Watch the full ad below: