LeBron James endorsed incumbent Democrat Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock in the race to maintain his seat against Republican challenger Hershel Walker on Monday.
The Los Angeles Lakers star, who lives in California, had yet to make any endorsement for any candidate in the race until the hours prior to Election Day. James directed his message to Georgia voters.
“Obviously, tomorrow is Election Day, and there’s only one choice when voting for senator and that’s Raphael Warnock,” James said.
Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) meets with community members to encourage them to come out and vote on the first day of early voting on Oct. 17, 2022 in Duluth, Georgia.
(Megan Varner/Getty Images)
On Friday, James was asked about the importance of voting and urged his fellow Americans to get out to the polls.
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“I think from the Black community — and obviously our league is predominately Black athletes, Black players, Black men — our community, we talk and speak about change a lot,” he said Friday night. “So, in order to have change we have to get out and actually put our mouths and put our hands and put our pens and pencils to the polls. Starting in your community, then it starts in the city, then out to state, and then all the way out the country, we have an opportunity to be able to say that you’ve done your due diligence to try to help create change in your community.
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, #6, walks back to the defensive side of the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in Los Angeles.
(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
“We’ve been oppressed for so long. Obviously, I had the More Than A Vote initiative when we was in the bubble. I was very active with that. So many musicians and athletes and leaders was able to come on board with us. But we’ve been oppressed for so long. They told us we couldn’t vote. They told our women — our Black women — they weren’t allowed to vote for so many years. But they continue to reprimand us or do things to us in our community to harm us and harm our family. And we sit here and wonder why and what’s going on.
Herschel Walker, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, speaks at a campaign event on Nov. 6, 2022 in Hiram, Georgia. Recent polls have shown a tightening race against incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock, with control of the U.S. Senate in the balance.
(Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)
“So, I think it’s very important that you get educated about what’s going on. Who your local people are that’s gonna be making decisions in your community, making decisions that could affect you, could affect your family, could affect your school districts and things of that nature. Cause it’s important. I know as Black people sometimes, we don’t believe that our vote counts, we don’t believe that our vote matters — and I just say Black people cause I just know my people, I can’t speak for everybody, I just know how we are — but it does. It does matter. We saw change when we wanted to get someone out of office. So, I hope people take it serious.”
James missed Monday’s game against the Utah Jazz. The NBA will not play any games on Election Day.