Sports unions band together against Republican electoral restrictions

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The National Basketball Players Association released a statement Monday against voting restrictions being enacted or discussed in state legislatures across the country.

The declaration, entitled “Stand for Democracy”, was co-signed by unions from eight other US sports leagues. It demands that “every eligible voter” has “an equal and fair opportunity to cast a vote”.

“We stand for democracy.

Government of the people, by the people.

A beautiful American ideal, but a reality that many have been denied for much of this nation’s history.

As Americans, we know that in our democracy we shouldn’t expect us to agree on everything.

Regardless of our political affiliation, however, we believe that the foundation of our electoral process lies in the ability of each and every one of us to cast our ballots for the candidates of our choice.

In order for American democracy to work for each of us, we must ensure that we all have the right to vote.

We should all feel obliged to defend the right to vote and to oppose discriminatory laws or measures that restrict or prevent an elector from having an equal and fair chance to cast a vote.

Voting is the lifeblood of our democracy, and we urge all Americans to join us in standing up impartially for this most fundamental right of all Americans. “

Not every major sports union has signed up

The National Football League Players Association, the Women’s National Basketball Players Association, the Major League Soccer Players Association, the National Women’s Hockey League Players Association, the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association, the Professional Women’s Hockey League Players Association, the United States Women’s National Team Players Association and Basketball Players Union co-signed the declaration with the NBPA.

The Major League Baseball Players Association, the National Hockey League Players Association, and the US National Soccer Team Players Association have not signed the declaration.

Last fall, LeBron James promoted voting together with prominent athletes. (Sam Greenwood / Getty Images)

What are the unions against?

The statement arrives as states with Republican-led legislatures proposed electoral restrictions similar to measures passed in Georgia after the 2020 elections. Georgian law, passed in March, limits the number of dropboxes across the state, increases voter ID requirements, and gives state-level officials under Republican-controlled Georgian power over electoral bodies to monitor the number of ballots.

The law also makes it illegal for non-election workers to provide food and water to people standing in line to vote. Georgia announced news of hours-long voting results in minority neighborhoods in the recent election that did not reflect what was seen in mostly white neighborhoods.

Florida and Michigan have since passed similar voting restrictions, while Texas and Arizona are among the states debating whether to do the same.

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