Michael Vick Joins LeBron James' More Than a Vote After Voting Rights Restored

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2020

Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick throws the football before the NFL Pro Bowl football game, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O?Meara)
Chris O' Meara/Associated Press

In the first episode of a series for More Than a Vote's campaign to restore voting rights, former NFL quarterback Michael Vick spoke about the importance of voting and the work he had to do in order to regain his voting status. 

Vick explained how he was unable to vote in 2011 because of the felony conviction stemming from his dogfighting case. The four-time Pro Bowler worked with Florida Rights Restoration Coalition president Desmond Meade to figure out the steps he needed to take in order to be re-enfranchised.

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has partnered with a number of athletes and prominent figures on More Than a Vote, a nonprofit launched ahead of the November election.

LeBron James @KingJames

Thank you to the legend @MichaelVick for joining our fight. @Morethanavote #morethananathlete https://t.co/f34cftTirs

"Yes, we want you to go out and vote, but we're also going to give you the tutorial," James told the New York Times' Jonathan Martin. "We're going to give you the background of how to vote and what they're trying to do, the other side, to stop you from voting."

Vick's testimonial comes on the heels of a decision by the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals that allows the state of Florida to prohibit formerly incarcerated individuals from voting if they have outstanding court fines or fees related to their case. Critics of the law have equated it with a poll tax, which was outlawed by the 24th Amendment to the Constitution.

In 2018, Florida voters passed an amendment to the state constitution which allowed most people who had served the terms of previous felony convictions to register to vote.