Memphis Grizzlies launch voter outreach campaign

Updated: Jan. 17, 2020 at 9:57 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Grizzlies are looking to score come election time. The franchise kicked off a campaign on Friday to get out the vote, at the request of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett who’s looking to leverage the popularity of the Grizz into better numbers at the polls.

From the hardwood to the ballot box, the Memphis Grizzlies will be flexing their might in 2020.

“In moving Dr. King’s legacy forward, we want people to register to vote. It’s important to the Grizzlies because it’s a part of our community DNA," said Grizzlies V.P. of Community Engagement Abusheri Ohwofasa

On the Dr. Martin Luther King Junior holiday weekend, the team announced a partnership with Secretary Hargett’s office to join forces on the ‘Your Vote Matters’ campaign.

“That lends a great deal of credibility to the process,” Hargett said, “and you’re going to see some of the players take active roles in encouraging people to vote. I think it’s going to make a big difference.”

Perfect example -- 18-year-old Grizzlies fan Travis Brewer isn’t registered to vote.

“Just haven’t really done it yet,” he told WMC Action News 5.

But he says a little prompting from a certain Grizzlies player could change that.

“If I had Ja Morant coming up to me and telling me to vote, I’d be like, ‘heck yeah!’ I’ll do anything Ja Morant tells me. I’m gonna do it for sure. He tells me to vote, I’m gonna get registered to vote," Brewer said.

The state, and the Grizzlies, make it super easy to register to vote. You can simply stop by the registration table in the lobby of FedExForum during a Grizz game or go online to or get the GoVoteTN app.

Grizz fans Lou Bennett and Merry Byers think the Grizzlies getting behind the ‘Your Voice Matters’ campaign has the potential to be a slam dunk.

“It will definitely make a difference,” said Byers.

“Without getting out the vote, we can’t do anything. You really don’t have a voice. And especially coming up toward Monday with the Dr. King holiday and everything, it’s very important," said Bennett.

Secretary Hargett’s office is all in for 2020, also teaming up with the Nashville Predators and the Tennessee Titans to get out the vote in this important election year. The Grizzlies, said Hargett have the power to inspire Tennesseans to be an active part of the election process.

“It’s one thing,” he said, “for the Secretary of State to stand up in a suit and tie and talk about the importance of voting. It’s another thing to see someone who they see on the court every night and in their community encouraging them to participate.”

The deadline to register to vote if you want to vote in the March 3 presidential primary is Feb. 3. Early voting starts Feb. 12.

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