After NBA players began boycotting their playoff games over the racist murders being carried out by the police, the teams held a vote about whether to continue playing games at all. ESPN reported that LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers, along with the Los Angeles Clippers, voted to cancel the entire season. But then after NBA owners offered to get more proactive, the teams all voted to resume playing games after all.
In other words, LeBron put his foot down, and got what he wanted. So what did he get? The big news today is that the NBA will be turning its arenas into gigantic polling places on election day, making it easier for people to show up and vote in person while social distancing.
Many of these arenas are located in inner cities, where Republican authorities have made it as difficult as possible for low income people and minorities to vote. By opening up its arenas as voting locations, the NBA isn’t officially siding with one candidate or the other. But the reality is that the easier access is going to send more votes in Biden’s direction than Trump’s direction.
And so by briefly threatening to shut down the entire NBA season, LeBron James has forced the issue and gained the upper hand. He’s not only raised awareness of the issues at hand and sent the Wisconsin legislature scurrying back into session, he’s seemingly made it harder for the openly racist Donald Trump to win in November.
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