With a growing list of NBA teams offering their arenas as presidential polling places for this November's election, members of the Wizards and Mystics are hoping the same can be done in Washington with Capital One Arena.
Wizards center Ian Mahinmi said there have been discussions on the matter among Wizards and Mystics players, as well as members of the front office. He mentioned several by name: Bradley Beal, Natasha Cloud, Ish Smith and LaToya Sanders, a group he described as leading the charge on using the teams' platforms to create social justice change.
"This is something that we have talked about and that would be amazing," Mahinmi said.
Voting rights and awareness has become a central issue for Mahinmi, who is originally from France. He has been studying social justice matters worldwide and feels voting can create necessary change in the United States. Mahinmi has been motivated, as many have, by recent events such as the death of George Floyd in the custody of police officers in Minneapolis.
"I think it's our job to provide a platform and to help the people that are lacking space and time to do and exercise their right. When you look around the country, across the country, and what's going on as far as the ability to vote, providing this for the people would be such a great move. I think it would be the right move for our organization," Mahinmi said.
Mahinmi said recently he plans to wear the word 'vote' on the back of his Wizards jersey when NBA games return in Orlando. The league is allowing players to replace their names with nessages centered around social justice.
Clearly for Mahinmi, it's about more than a slogan. He, his teammates and his friends from the Mystics are looking to take action.
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