A new ad campaign narrated by LeBron James is taking aim at Georgia and other states that are pushing laws restricting access to the ballot box. The Protect Our Power campaign was launched by the organization More Than a Vote, founded by Black artists and athletes, and the ad will air ahead of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.
The 30-second ad is a collection of images and videos from this summer’s wave of Black Lives Matter protests and Black politicians, athletes and activists — juxtaposed with clips of the destruction from the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“Look what we made happen. What our voices made possible,” James said in his narration. “And now, look what they’re trying to do to silence us. Using every trick in the book, and attacking democracy itself. Because they saw what we’re capable of, and they fear it.”
The organization was founded last year after the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and it just announced partnerships with the Georgia NAACP, Black Voters Matter Fund, Fair Fight Action and the New Georgia Project to go after bills being advanced in the state.
Republicans in Georgia are pushing legislation to change voting processes based on former President Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud. Parallel efforts can be seen in Arizona and Iowa. Civil rights organizations across the country say that, if passed, the laws would target Black voters disproportionately.
Once such bill was passed by the Republican-controlled Georgia House on Monday. It would limit early voting on Sundays, further restrict absentee ballots and change processes for ballot drops.
"Black and brown voters changed the game in 2020. So in response, lawmakers are trying to change the rules in 2021,” one of the new co-owners of the WNBA's Atlanta Dream, Renee Montgomery, a More Than a Vote member, said in a news release. “We know that as athletes and as leaders we have to keep our foot on the gas to protect our power, preserve and expand our voting rights, and to continue turning moments into momentum. More Than a Vote is just getting started."