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NBA Players Urge Activism but Only 20 Percent Are Registered to Vote

The professional basketball players of the National Basketball Association (NBA) have been organizing and encouraging their fans to get involved in activist causes and vote this November, but several reports from their recent players’ meetings said that only 20 percent of the players are registered to vote.

The reports came from at least two different sources, ESPN’s Marc Spears, who blogs at The Undefeated, and Fox Sports.

Spears described the low voter registration numbers as the top issue in his “Five Takeaways” from the NBA players meetings, noting the disparity between the NBA “pushing its audience to vote,” while the players seemed to be slower to take that same advice. LeBron James is personally pushing an initiative called “More Than a Vote.”

However, wrote Spears, it was clear that the league was aware of this and was pushing their players to register. Chris Paul, a point guard with the Oklahoma City Thunder and president of the National Basketball Players’ Association, has reportedly been able to get all of his teammates registered to vote, and when the 20 percent number was mentioned during the players’ meeting, Paul spoke “strongly,” according to Spears, urging all players to be registered in time to vote in November’s general election.

FoxSports posted an interview between Colin Cowherd and NBA Insider’s Sham Charania about the NBA protests and recent players’ meetings, and Charania described the discussions around voter registration:

You have the signature players, Chris Paul, Andre Iguodala, who are NBPA leadership, but two people that were very vocal in that meeting I’m told were Doc Rivers, the head coach of the Clippers, and John Lucas, the assistant coach in Houston.

Doc Rivers’ message to the players was “You guys gotta look in the mirror to create real change. You guys are making this stand, but only 20% of you guys are registered voters. That needs to be 80-85%,” I’m told Rivers told the players. And that was a direct message that you guys have to get your own house in order before you can allow and create change.

Story cited here.