NBA star LeBron James named TIME’s Athlete of the Year

The honor comes after he used his celebrity status to bring awareness to voter suppression

LeBron James is TIME Magazine’s Athlete of the Year for 2020.

The honor comes after the NBA star carried the Los Angeles Lakers to victory and used his celebrity status to bring awareness to police brutality, social justice and voter suppression.

James is a 4-time NBA champion, leading his team to defeat the Miami Heat, but its not what he did on the court that solely determined his Athlete of the Year title.

READ MORE: LeBron James named 2020 Sportsperson of the Year

“After nearly two decades in the NBA, James has fully embraced that his talent on the court is a means to achieving something greater off it,” Time wrote. “And this year, more than in any before it, he showed why he is unrivaled in both.”

More Than a Vote is a nonprofit James started in June, with its mission to increase voter participation, MarketWatch reported. The athlete has fought against voter suppression, an issue that has plagued Black communities wanting their voices heard.

With sporting arenas closed due to COVID-19, James helped transform NBA sporting zones into polling places, according to the NBA. His influence helped other basketball players register and vote.

According to the National Basketball Players Association president and soon-to-be former Thunder guard Chris Paul, more than “90 percent of our league registered to vote. Fifteen teams are 100 percent registered.”

The King also convinced NFL stars such as Patrick Mahomes and Odell Beckham Jr., to join his efforts, making them founding members of his organization, The Undefeated reported.

Read More: LeBron James, Barack Obama partner for conversation on Black voter turnout

While nonprofits are not able to endorse political candidates, James, as an athlete, endorsed Joe Biden for president, having called President Donald Trump a bum in the past.

theGrio previously reported, Sports Illustrated gave James their own best athlete award, Sports Illustrated’s 2020 Sportsperson of the Year.

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