ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — While the Orlando Magic are at work within the NBA campus at Disney's Wide World of Sports, the team also is getting out its social justice message about the importance of voting to help communities bring about change locally.
What You Need To Know
- The team's Vote T-shirts drew interest when they wore them when arriving at Disney
- The message is designed to encourage voting as a way to enact social change
- The shirt is part of a social justice campaign.
- Sales benefit the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
Starting July 27, the Magic have made available for sale the team's VOTE T-shirts, and the proceeds will benefit the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, a group dedicated to ending discrimination against and the disenfranchisement of "returning citizens," people who have been convicted of felonies in the past and completed their debt to society.
The Magic players, coaches, and staff wore the T-shirts when they arrived for restart of the NBA's coronavirus-interrupted season at the Walt Disney World Resort on July 7, and the team received a lot of requests for information about how people could get one. For those interested, the shirts are on sale on the Magic team app or online at OrlandoMagic.OrderNext.com for $39.95 in adult sizes.
The Magic, in partnership with the FRRC and its Executive Director Desmond Meade, have been conducting a voter registration campaign with the theme "Get Off The Bench. Get Into The Game. VOTE," and that message is printed on the shirt. A virtual meeting with Meade inspired the team to encourage others to get out and vote to help bring about social change.
Meade was named to Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2019 after leading a successful effort to pass a 2018 state constitutional amendment that restored voting rights to 1.4 million Floridians with prior felony convictions. Known as Amendment 4, the initiative needed 60 percent of Florida voters to approve it and received 65 percent.
Currently, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is appealing a federal ruling that struck down a Florida law requiring those with prior convictions to pay fines and fees associated with their sentences before their voting rights are restored.