Athletes Get Involved in the 2020 Elections


Graphic made by D. Nambiar

How athletes been involved in the 2020 presidential election.

With Joe Biden being chosen as President-Elect in the 2020 Presidential Race, a whirlwind past few months of debates, campaigning, and tension has finally come to a close. It’s no question that this election was an important one, as the country achieved records for votes counted this year. It was crucial to push citizens to vote, which is something professional sports leagues and players have strived to do. Athletes from every major sport have gotten involved and urged people to go out to vote. 

The NBA, for example, has embodied the message of voting throughout their play. This year, they’ve made it a priority to make sure all their players and fans go out and vote. In 2016, only 22% of NBA players decided to participate in voting. In the 2020 election, the number skyrocketed to more than 85% of players. A significant number of players have taken it to their huge platforms on social media to encourage their fans to participate in democracy. NBPA President Chris Paul and NBA star Stephen Curry even took the time to surprise a basketball team in North Carolina with Joe Biden to help the campaign to vote. These acts have spread more awareness to fans about voting. 

Other major sports leagues have also introduced initiatives to help educate their fans on the process of how to vote. Organizations like the NFL and MLB have taken on part of this process. The ‘NFL Votes’ plan helped the league engage with their fans in advertisements with some of their favorite players to motivate them to vote. A vast 95% of NFL players voted in this year’s election, showing the impact this has made through the community.  

Athletes across all sports have spent time and effort donating money or spreading awareness to the cause of voting. NBA star LeBron James partnered with Michelle Obama and others to fund donations that sponsored events for early voting in major cities across the country. James also worked with former New York City Mayor Micheal Bloomberg for funding to allow nearly 13,000 Florida felons to vote in the election. 

All the attention that figures across the sports world have brought towards the 2020 Presidential Race has definitely paid off. Nearly the entire country has seen voter turnouts exceed previous years, and votes casted have been at record highs. Their mission doesn’t end here though, as they are seeking reform in many sectors throughout the country. Not only the country, but in their own cities and states which they want to support. If the election turnout shows us anything, it’s that these athletes and their big platforms will definitely make a difference for the future. “It’s like a huge group project,” Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez states,  “If you don’t butt in, if you’re not joining in, you’re not doing the work.”