Kings Relaunch 'Rally the Vote' with 20 NBA, NFL, MLB, WNBA, MLS, NWSL Teams

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2020

Vivek Ranadive, left, the owner of the NBA's Sacramento Kings basketball team, flanked by Gov. Gavin Newsom, right, discusses the donation of Sleep Train Arena, the team's former home, for use as a field hospital, after touring the facility in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 6, 2020. The arena is being transformed for use as a 400-bed emergency field hospital to help deal with the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool)
Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

In partnership with When We All Vote and RISE, the Sacramento Kings announced the relaunch of Rally the Vote, a coalition made of 20 teams across the NBA, NFL, MLB, WNBA, MLS and NWSL aimed at getting unregistered voters to the polls. 

The coalition, which is nonpartisan, includes the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Sky, Chicago White Sox, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and Fever, Los Angeles Football Club, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, New York Giants, Phoenix Mercury, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Storm, Washington Wizards and Mystics and Washington Spirit.

"There's no better way to be heard than by voting and it's important we all do our part to lower barriers to the ballot box," Sacramento Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadive said. "The idea of 'one person, one vote' is part of the reason I fell in love with this country as a teenager. Whether you agree or disagree with your elected officials, voting gives us an opportunity to make our voices heard.

"At the Kings, we believe that sports teams have a unique responsibility to use our platforms for positive change, and we're excited to Rally the Vote alongside these incredible teams."

Rally the Vote was initially founded in 2018 to spur an increase in voting in the midterm elections. Only 53 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot in the 2018 elections, but that was still the highest recorded percentage since census data was first collected in 1978. According to the Kings' statement, the most recent census data recorded at least 88 million eligible Americans who have not registered. 

When We All Vote seeks to increase participation in young and minority voters, helping them to register to vote and providing information on how to cast their ballot. RISE is a nonprofit "that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations." RISE has partnered with several teams across major sports in the United States. 

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The NBA, WNA, MLS, NWSL and MLB have made an increase in civil engagement part of their restart initiatives. The Kings are one of several NBA teams planning to allow their arenas to be used for voter registration and to cast ballots in November. The Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks are among the teams that are also opening their arenas.

In addition, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James announced the launch of his More Than a Vote organization, which aims to increase awareness, registration and curtail voter suppression, particularly in the Black community. 

Each of the members of the coalition are encouraged to give employees paid time off on Election Day to encourage voting. The Bulls, Kings, Timberwolves and Lynx, and Wizards and Mystics have announced Election Day as a paid holiday.