ORLANDO, Florida – Monte Morris has a simple four-letter solution for anyone wondering where to turn at a time of uncertainty and concern over what’s going on outside the cocoon of the NBA bubble.
“VOTE,” the Denver Nuggets point guard said, running his hand across his chest where those letters are splashed as he and his teammates enter the field for the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.
“We’re trying to make our voices heard, to be heard,” Morris said. “The reason we are playing is to show that we are aware of police brutality, social injustice and other issues people are facing in the country right now. And we need to vote and encourage people all over the world to vote. The more we vote in the league, the better. It starts with us and spreads throughout the community.
“We try to be the living and breathing example in our communities. Just that little impact, seeing the words “vote” through our chests, that could change a person’s mind and get them involved. And finally, that’s what it is. “
Morris has a mind akin to former Nuggets and Hall of Famer legend Alex English. He joins others from across the basketball community in advocating for Hoopers Voting Day to energize voters ahead of the general election on November 3.
English, whose No.2 was withdrawn by Denver, says current and retired players, coaches and others associated with the basketball ecosystem can spread the word about what is easily the most election. important in his life.
Eight-time All-Star and NBA Champion in 1983, English shared his heartfelt opinions on the enormous challenges he believes the country faces now and in the weeks to come.
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Question: You have lived through critical moments in the history of this country. Why are you feeling such a sense of urgency right now?
Alex English: It’s the most crucial national election in our history because we have one person in the White House who isn’t afraid to lie about everything. He always changes the narrative to suit him and doesn’t really care about bringing the country closer. It’s more a question of division and it’s an opportunity for young people, they protest, they make fuss. But the way you can be heard is to come out and vote. You get other people to vote. This is how you make a difference in this country. And until we realize and understand this, we are still going to protest and debate politics. We must mobilize. We have to mobilize our seniors, our young people and we have to make a difference. We have to catch two or three people and take them with us.
Given the current climate in the country, with current actors being as loud as they have been about the need for social justice, system changes across our society and voting, does it make sense that now seems to be? the right time for all? of these forces to come together?
It makes all the sense in the world. It all came together for a reason. In the past, we older players had to take pretty much anything we were given. We had a voice, but because our players today have been raised to a different level – financially as well as status and spectator status – they have a bigger voice. And they have a bigger voice, especially with young people. Many of them follow NBA players. And because of the injustices that have happened in this country lately… forever, but there is more emphasis now. It’s important that they don’t just talk about it and protest. They have to go out and vote. They must act to make things happen. And I’m just proud that the NBA and WNBA players today – LeBron [James] and all the other players in both leagues – they stay focused and say, “We might be playing basketball and we might be entertaining you, but we realize our power is right now.”
You mentioned the players in the NBA and the WNBA and the role they play in this movement. Do you think they made an impact beyond the basketball world?
What the NBA and WNBA have done is they have mobilized athletes from all walks of life. You are thinking about this: How long have we been trying to start this conversation? We have always tried to get it. These players are really focused on it and they got other athletes to focus on it.