Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard describes why voting is so important

Trail Blazers

On National Voter Registration Day, local teams and athletes are sharing their thoughts on the importance of voting.

Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard, who recently sat down with Trail Blazers sideline reporter Brooke Olzendam, took a moment to explain why he believes people should use their opportunity to vote.

“I think first off all, people should be aware of the sacrifice that we made for us to be able to vote.” Lillard said. “Right now, it’s just like – ‘are you gonna vote? No? Yes?’ There was a time when that wasn’t an option. And people literally put their lives on the line and sacrificed everything for us to have this opportunity to vote.”

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon]:

Lillard also discussed that when people are voting they shouldn’t just think about themselves.

“Aside from that, there’s so many things that will determine the way we live. It’s going to have a direct impact on our lives. I think people say, ‘are you going to vote for this guy or that guy?’ when it’s not that simple. You’re voting for so many different things and for so many different people. If I’m going to vote, I’m not going to vote for only my best interest. I’m going to say, ‘how does this impact my mom, how does this impact my aunts, my cousins, my uncles?’”


[RELATED]: Damian Lillard, Bobby Wagner among athletes looking to end Black voter suppression  

The Blazers are no stranger to advocating for people to exercise their right to vote.

Portland head coach Terry Stotts wore a t-shirt that said “vote” throughout Portland’s practices down in the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida.

The Blazers have also announced their work towards voting efforts in the following ways:

  • Partner with non-partisan nonprofits and state and county agencies to amplify their outreach efforts  
  • Join Rally the Vote, a non-partisan coalition of professional sports teams, When We All Vote, and Rise to Vote to educate staff and fans on voting via various channels  
  • Create content series to share relevant content leading up to the national election and support with ongoing promotional messaging  
  • Engage Trail Blazers personalities in campaign videos and voting messaging   
  • Encourage and educate employees to participate by closing the office on November 3 and communicating important deadlines

Additional information can be found at 

Lillard isn't the only one trying to rock the vote, either. The Oregon Men’s basketball posted a quote from John Lewis on their Twitter page Tuesday:

The vote is precious. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society and we must use it.

John Lewis


On the gridiron in Eugene, Ducks HC Mario Cristobal has made it a point to educate his players on voting and encourage them to vote.    

We want our guys to be educated as to who they’re voting on. We don’t want to get caught up in social media waves of momentum. We want them to continue to educate themselves on how their vote can make a tremendous impact.


Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal on encouraging his players to vote

[Listen to the latest Talkin' Ducks podcast with host Jordan Kent]: