Dare Ogunbowale’s asking Americans to exercise their right to vote in the Nov. 3 election. The NFL star explains why it’s so important to vote, and why he’s happy to rep LeBron James’ More Than A Vote.
Dare Ogunbowale wants to see you at the polls (or the mailbox) on November 3. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back, 26, joined LeBron James‘ More Than A Vote initiative in June 2020, four months ahead of the 2020 general election, because he wanted his fans to know: registering to vote, and actually voting, is a “right and an obligation” as an American citizen. Dare told HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview that individuals who believe their votes don’t count are mistaken.
“Let’s call it what it is: the Electoral College isn’t the best system as far as the majority of people getting their voices heard. But then we have these individuals who say that their voices and votes don’t matter or don’t count,” Dare said, explaining that this leads to “a bunch” of people not voting at all. And that’s a major problem, because “people who say that their vote doesn’t count are the same ones that are complaining on how the country is run.”
Dare Ogunbowale (AP)
In the Ogunbowale family, voting is seen as “a right,” Dare told HollywoodLife. “People everywhere don’t have that ability and right to vote, so I hate hearing that people don’t want to vote,” he said. “I have family members that weren’t allowed to vote because they had felonies, or something like that. I just hate when people say that their vote doesn’t count because — you can understand the voting system however you want — but it is a right [and] an obligation that we have.” Voting, Dare says, “is an important part in how this country is run, whether you like it or not.” Whether you choose to visit a polling station, or vote by mail for the November 3 presidential election doesn’t matter to him!
Dare’s sister, WNBA star Arike Ogunbowale, is another founding member of More Than A Vote. The nonpartisan organization, started by LeBron, is a coalition of Black athletes and artists, including Ben Simmons, Patrick Mahomes, Offset, and Kevin Hart, who have a specific goal in mind: “combating systemic, racist voter suppression by educating, energizing, and protecting our community in 2020.” They’re partners with Michelle Obama‘s voter rights organization, When We All Vote, as well as Fair Fight.
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“Change doesn’t come from sitting on the sidelines.” My sister @arike_ogunbowale and I are proud to come together with @kingjames and many other black athletes and artists to launch @morethanavote. • • We want to help educate and energize our hometown of Milwaukee and the communities we impact. Let’s be louder than we’ve ever been, and that starts with being registered to vote. Check out morethanavote.org. • • Also shoutout to my brothers @lowkeycarlton and @mikeevans for joining the cause! #MoreThanAVote ✊?
Dare is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where protests recently broke out over the shooting of Jacob Blake. Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot seven times in the back by police on August 23 in Milwaukee, leaving him hospitalized in critical condition. The father of three is now paralyzed from the waist down. Dare, who has always been passionate about politics in his hometown, wants to jump on “Zoom call” with LeBron to see how he can further serve the community as part of More Than A Vote.
Milwaukee “is a place where voter suppression is actually a place of concern,” Dare explained, adding that he’s been back to Wisconsin several times to protest throughout 2020. LeBron “is always so innovative and original with his ideas and plans of action. I would just love to be able to do more in Milwaukee… I have people DMing me and asking me what they should do, and it’s great because these [are] people I don’t know. But to see that I’m attached to More Than A Vote, they can now use me as a resource. It’s just amazing to help people, because I’m a part of this amazing organization and movement.”
Dare Ogunbowale (AP)
If you haven’t registered to vote yet, there’s still time to make it happen. Fill out the form below, courtesy of our friends at Rock The Vote, and let your voice be heard in the 2020 election.