Moments after winning the NBA championship Sunday night, LeBron James said athletes must continue to keep pushing against social injustice and voter suppression.
With both the NBA and WNBA seasons over, athletes from both leagues said the fight will continue on starting with a new ad encouraging young Black voters to formulate a plan to vote in the 2020 general election. More Than A Vote, in partnership with iVote Civic Education Fund, launched the 30-second ad titled "The Work," which is narrated by WNBA All-Star Skylar Diggins-Smith.
"To us, this was always about more than basketball," Diggins-Smith says in the ad. "We said we would bring the fight here. And while the season is over, the work is not."
More Than A Vote, founded by Black athletes and artists, is a nonprofit social justice organization created for and dedicated to Black political empowerment.
As the Lakers celebrated their championship at the trophy presentation after a 106-93 Game 6 victory over the Miami Heat in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, James said that the NBA, National Basketball Players Association and players from all the teams came together to make their voices heard on social justice and racial equality issues.
"It's been unbelievable," James said of how involved and active the NBA stayed for the causes that mattered to the players. "We didn't know [how things would go in the bubble]. It was an unknown. Adam [Silver], everyone from the NBA, NBPA, putting this thing together and us using our voices, us being together -- you hear Golden State always use the phrase 'strength in numbers.' And that's exactly what it was while we were here.
"Everybody had a voice on what is going on in America," James added. "We know we all want to see better days, and when we leave here we got to continue to push that. Continue to push [against] social injustice, continue to push [against] voting suppression, continue to push [against] police brutality, continue to push [against] everything that is opposite of love. If we can continue to do that, all of us, America will be a much better place, which we all love this country."