Report: LeBron James named Sportsperson of the Year for helping drive record election turnout

Jonathan Sherman
2 Min Read

On Sunday, Sports Illustrated announced its prestigious Sportsperson of the Year list, with Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James headlining the group.

The list, which honored athletes who are using their platforms and celebrity to encourage change through activism, also included WNBA star Breanna Stewart, NFL icon Patrick Mahomes, tennis star Naomi Osaka and NFL-star-turned-doctor Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.

In the case of James, he was honored as one of the activist athletes for his incredible contributions to getting out the vote in November’s presidential election.

“Already a contender for GOAT, an advocate for racial equality and the founder of a school for low-income children, James—also the Muhammad Ali Legacy Award winner—put his considerable energy into inspiring young people to go to the ballot box in the face of voter suppression,” the editors of Sports Illustrated wrote.

There’s no doubt that James has raised the bar when it comes to what star athletes are expected to do. In the past, NBA stars could simply dominate on the court and enjoy their status and wealth off of it.

That is not the case for James. He has used his massive fortune and cultural power to encourage real, meaningful change for underrepresented communities.

His I Promise School in Akron, Ohio has helped educated children in need while inspiring millions across the globe. His More Than A Vote initiative helped boost voter turnout amidst historic attempts at voter suppression in last month’s election.

James isn’t doing any of his meaningful activism work for the accolades. With that in mind, he is surely happy to earn this recognition as it only increases the chances that fellow NBA superstars will follow in his footsteps.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Lakers Daily.