The Los Angeles Lakers and their partners announced that STAPLES Center will be used as a voting location in the upcoming 2020 general election. The decision comes on the heels of NBA players sitting out of playoff games in protest of police brutality in wake of the Jacob Blake shooting at the hands of Wisconsin police.
As players ultimately decided to resume the season, they also made a set of demands of team owners to show more initiative in the fight against systemic racism rather than empty and symbolic gestures. Those demands included converting all 29 NBA arenas into voting locations for the upcoming presidential election.
Per the release, STAPLES Center will also serve as mail-in ballot drop-off location. Election Day is November 3rd.
LeBron James, who recently started his More Than A Vote initiative alongside many other athletes and entertainers, showed his support of the announcement on social media:
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 29, 2020
Voting is not a magic button to solve all the issues that these players care about. But it is still a major component of the fight for equality. Voter suppression, especially in communities of people of color, has been a major but largely unacknowledged issue and sports teams using buildings paid for by public money to help curb that problem even slightly is the bare minimum they should do.
Kudos to the Lakers and their partners for officially joining the other NBA teams making this jump.