FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2018
Athletes partner with Rock the Vote to engage rising American electorate
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rock the Vote, the national leader in youth civic engagement, is proud to announce a new partnership with the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) to mobilize young fans and athletes to get out the vote. The partnership announcement comes ahead of the WNBA’s All-Star Weekend, July 27-28 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“The WNBPA is leading by example with this commitment to youth civic engagement,” said Carolyn DeWitt, president of Rock the Vote. “Athletes are uniquely positioned to empower the next generation–first time voters and communities of color–to make their voices heard on the issues that matter most. Rock the Vote is proud to be partnering with such a powerful collective of athlete leaders ahead of the 2018 midterms.”
The WNBPA has financially invested in the partnership. Beyond this commitment, athletes will use their platforms in their home communities and online to young eligible voters to claim their freedom to vote in November and beyond. Players will bring civics teaching events to high schoolers, register local eligible youth to vote, and mobilize young voters at voting parties. In addition, they will serve as digital resources by directing fans to Rock the Vote’s resources, which are tailored to every voter’s needs.
“Rock the Vote has been hugely successful in registering millions of voters nationwide,” said Carolyn Swords, WNBPA board member. “I am thrilled we have the opportunity to join forces, and learn how to empower our fans and communities to get out and vote!”
When describing the Players Association’s financial commitment and dedication of player time and resources, WNBPA President, Nneka Ogwumike noted, “We are proud of our partnership with Rock the Vote because it gives us a real opportunity to elevate and invest in the communities where we live and play. Our objective is simple and straightforward and that is to emphasize that voting is both a right and a responsibility that we owe ourselves and each other.”
The Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) is the union for current women’s professional basketball players in the WNBA. The WNBPA is the first labor union for professional women athletes. It was created in 1998 to protect the rights of players and assist them in achieving their full potential on and off the court. The WNBPA handles the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, filing grievances on their behalf, and counseling players on benefits and post-WNBA career opportunities. The WNBPA also serves as a resource for current players, while they are competing internationally during the offseason. The WNBPA encourages players to participate in union activities including executive leadership roles, team representative positions, and global community outreach initiatives.