NBA star LeBron James’ voting rights group is reportedly donating $100,000 toward paying fines for convicted felons in Florida so they can vote.

After the death of George Floyd back in May, James teamed up with other athletes and entertainers to start More Than A Vote. On Friday, the organization made the announcement that it would be using the $100,000 to help pay outstanding court debts of ex-felons so they can register to vote, according to Politico. The money is being given to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, which managed to bring about a constitutional amendment that lifted Florida’s lifetime voting ban on people with felony convictions back in 2018.

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“Your right to vote shouldn’t depend upon whether or not you can pay to exercise it,” said Miami Heat forward and More Than A Vote member Udonis Haslem. He added that this move will help ensure that “formerly incarcerated American citizens — many of them Black and brown — are able to pay their outstanding fines and fees and register to vote in the 2020 election and beyond.”

Desmond Meade, executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, added that the partnership between the two groups will strengthen democracy and make more voices heard.

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“We are Black athletes and artists working together,” reads a statement of purpose on the website for More Than a Vote. “Our priority right now is combating systemic, racist voter suppression by educating, energizing, and protecting our community in 2020.”

This comes one month after James blasted Fox News host Laura Ingraham for defending New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who dared to say he would never take a knee for the national anthem.

“He’s allowed to have his view about what kneeling and the flag means to him,” Ingraham said of Brees. “I mean, he’s a person. He has some worth, I would imagine. I mean, this is beyond football, though. This is totalitarian conduct.”

This was enough to “trigger” James.

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“If you still haven’t figured out why the protesting is going on,” James tweeted alongside the video. “Why we’re acting as we are is because we are simply F-N tired of this treatment right here! Can we break it down for you any simpler than this right here?” James went on to say that he won’t stop until he sees “CHANGE,” adding the hashtag: #ShutUpAndDribbleThisPowerfulBlackManComingFullSteam.

 

This piece was written by James Samson on July 28, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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