Monday night, the three-time NBA Finals champion announced that the reigning Super Bowl MVP officially signed up to be a part of his “More Than A Vote” campaign.
James tweeted: And…everyone welcome this game changer (on and off the field) @PatrickMahomes to the family. Means a lot my Brother to have your voice in this with us.”
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) June 23, 2020
Among the other athletes participating include Andrew Hawkins, Jeffrey Okudah, Caron Butler, Arike Ogunbowale, Sloane Stephens and former college athlete-turned ESPN host Maria Taylor.
Though you can’t do much on the official website besides sign up for updates, the message behind the mission is clear: “We are Black athletes and artists working together. Our priority right now is combating systemic, racist voter suppression by educating, energizing, and protecting our community in 2020.”
Mahomes Is an Activist in the Making
The 24-year-old is a force to be reckoned with on the field, but it’s how he’s spending his time during the offseason that’s turning heads. On June 4, Mahomes and teammate Tyrann Mathieu joined other NFL stars in a powerful video campaign urging the league to recognize Black Lives Matter.
— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) June 5, 2020
A portion of their public service announcement states: “On behalf of the National Football League, this is what we, the players, would like to hear you state: ‘We, the National Football League, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of black people. We, the National Football League, admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting. We, the National Football League, believe black lives matter.”
It didn’t take long for NFL officials to respond to their call to action. In fact, one exec tells ESPN’s The Undefeated that Mahomes’ participation in the short was a catalyst behind their swift response.
“Let’s put it this way: The second I saw him in that video, I knew Roger had to act quickly. Everyone, including all the owners, knows he’s the guy,” he disclosed to the publication’s Jason Reid.
No. 15 Had a Message for the ‘Stick to Sports’ Crowd, Too
The “stick to sports” narrative has served as a way to stifle athletes from sharing their opinions on issues that also affect them. When asked via Zoom what he would say to those continuing to peddle that rhetoric, Mahomes’ answer was direct and poignant.
“We are people too,” Mahomes explained. “I feel like those people [who say stick to sports] have kids and they understand that their kid could play sports and their kids could possibly be in the same position that we’re in. They would want their kids to show their heart and show who they truly are and try to affect the world in the most positive way possible. That’s what we believe that we’re doing. And so obviously, we know that not everyone agrees with everything that you’re going to say. Just know that when we say stuff, we mean it and we care and we want to make the world the best place for our future kids and for generations to come behind us.”