In 2020, it’s practically impossible to avoid hearing or seeing the words “go vote”. More than ever before social media is encouraging everyone to go to the polls. Professional sports players have been especially outspoken about the topic at hand and aren’t afraid to share their stances. Notable names like LeBron James, Serena Williams and Colby Covington have all used their fame to reach the American people.
The NBA has made it known that they stand with their African American athletes so much so that the words “Black Lives Matter” were written on the court during the playoffs. On and off the court LeBron James has gone out of his way to encourage people to vote if they want to change. He said, “Because of everything that’s going on, people are finally starting to listen to us — we feel like we’re finally getting a foot in the door… how long is up to us. We don’t know. But we feel like we’re getting some ears and some attention, and this is the time for us to finally make a difference.”
“More Than a Vote” organization started by James and other prominent black athletes as well as entertainers was created to inspire African-Americans to register and cast a ballot. James stated, “Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we’re also going to give you the tutorial… we’re going to give you the background of how to vote and what they’re trying to do, the other side, to stop you from voting.”
UFC fighter Colby Covington is a prominent Trump supporter and has gone on the record many times to show his stance in the political world. Following his match against Tyron Woodley, Covington said, “Ladies and gentlemen, the silent majority is ready to make some noise… If you thought that was a beating wait until November 3rd when Donald Trump gets his hands on Sleepy Joe. That’s gonna be a landslide.”
That wasn’t all Covington had to say either; he also said, “I want to dedicate this fight to all the first responders, all the military out there… this world would not be safe without you guys. You keep us safe and not these woke athletes. I’m sick of these woke athletes and spineless cowards like LeBron James.”
Covington was even more upset at LeBron James when the NBA boycotted a few games after the Jacob Blake shooting. He said, “Oh wow, you postponed your games? Wanna prove you’re really about change? Quit your multi-million dollar jobs and soft privileged lives playing a kids game, take a massive pay cut, and perform the toughest job in America. Become cops!” He has publicly posed for pictures with Donald Trump and has thanked him for fighting for America.
On September 11th, 2016, Colin Kaepernick kneeled before a game to protest racial injustice during the national anthem. Surprisingly enough Kaepernick doesn't vote even after America became enraged at him after his political stances. Kaepernick said, "I think it would be hypocritical of me to vote… I’d said from the beginning I was against oppression, I was against a system of oppression. I’m not going to show support for that system. And, to me, the oppressor isn’t going to allow you to vote your way out of your oppression."
When Kaepernick was asked if he felt more urgency to vote with Donald Trump being in office and his response was, "I think everybody should feel an urgency to make sure that we’re doing the right thing, building things the right way in order to be able to protect ourselves from what comes in front of us". He didn't believe in the system so he felt that he couldn't support it. If he had he'd undo everything he had done by taking the kneel in the first place. Kaepernick did not vote in the 2016 election and there has been no statement that has gone out to say that he will be voting in 2020.