A new wave of athlete empowerment has spread around the country in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. NBA players and athletes in other sports are taking to the streets and using their online platforms to advocate for change.
On this week’s episode of “I Love Basketball”, Sabreena and Anthony discuss how the Lakers have participated in this social movement, specifically in terms of encouraging black communities and other people of color to vote. They talk about Kyle Kuzma’s piece in The Players’ Tribune and his imminent voting campaign, and then get into LeBron James’ new initiative: More Than A Vote, which will try to address the systemic issues of voter suppression and disenfranchisement in addition to promoting the right to vote.
While Kuzma and James use their platforms for social issues, it’s worth remembering that their influence stems from player empowerment in the NBA, where players have more of a say than in any other sports league. And at a moment when the players and the league are negotiating the provisions for the NBA’s restart in July, the players are using their leverage to secure conditions that will make them as comfortable as possible for the remainder of the league year. Anthony and Sabreena discuss how these asks may not be as noble as the work they are doing off the court, but the players have earned the right to those conveniences as well.