More Than A Vote, a voting rights organization spearheaded by athletes including NBA superstar LeBron James, released a video Monday featuring Major League Soccer (MLS) players encouraging Americans to make a plan to vote and to cast their vote early. Early voting is underway in multiple states across the country.
 
The video was produced in collaboration with Black Players for Change (BPC), a coalition of more than 170 professional soccer players, coaches and staff aimed at combating racial inequality. To assist Americans in making a plan to vote early, the organization encourages Americans to visit their website where users can type in their address and they will be redirected to a page that will provide them with different options on how to cast their vote in their community.

In addition to urging Americans to make their plans to vote early, the video asks citizens to become poll workers and to call their representatives in government to enact change. 

It shows game footage from MLS soccer matches and features interviews with MLS soccer players, photos of players kneeling at games and photos and videos of activists protesting systemic racism and injustice. And it also incorporates a voiceover from novelist and activist James Baldwin in a 1989 PBS documentary asking, “How much time do you want for your progress?”

See the ad here:


We’re In Stoppage Time: Make A Plan (full version) by
More Than A Vote on
YouTube

 
Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, social injustices and climate change to spur Americans to register to vote, players in the video push for change and progress, declaring the “country’s unity is at stake.”
 
“By changing the culture around civic engagement and really taking ownership of our ability to influence the electoral process, we can begin to build a society inclusive of all of our diverse backgrounds,” said Portland Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse, who’s also an executive board member on BPC, in a statement. “This summer, we’ve taken our energy to the streets, and now it’s time to be heard through our vote.”
 
The video, titled “We’re in Stoppage Time,” concludes with a compilation of players asking, “How much time?”  

In soccer, stoppage time — usually a few minutes — is tacked onto the end of regulation play as a way of getting lost time back. It makes up for injuries, team celebrations, arguments and more. The number of minutes is determined by the referee.

“We’re in stoppage time in our nation,” a narrator says. “The time is now to create lasting change. Make a plan to vote and vote early.” A spokesperson for More Than A Vote told CBS News the organization has a 60- second version of the video and is exploring TV advertising during MLS games.
 
More Than A Vote has been active in encouraging people to register to vote and to participate in the upcoming general election. The organization advocated for sporting arenas and training facilities to be used for polling sites for the upcoming election. 

State Farm Arena, home to the Atlanta Hawks, will be used as an early voting site starting on Monday. The group, in collaboration with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), focused on recruiting poll workers to staff polling locations. The non-profits recently announced that they have recruited more than 10,000 poll workers since they launched the campaign, named “We Got Next.”

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