Draymond Green admits he made a mistake.
The Warriors' do-it-all forward didn't vote in the 2016 Presidential election, feeling like his vote wouldn't count in the grand scheme of things. He knows he can't take that back, but nearly four years later, he's urging voting as strongly as he can.
"I didn't vote because I was just thinking our vote don't matter," Green told The Undefeated's William C. Rhoden on Sunday. "We've seen several people in the popular vote did not win. So, our vote don't matter.
"When you look at the voting numbers, a lot of young people didn't turn out, myself being one of them and especially a lot of young African American people. And it's taken me to get educated to understand how important it is for us to exercise our right to vote and not listen to the garbage that's being put out there and giving us all the false reasons that we can't vote."
The Warriors star isn't the only prominent athlete who didn't vote in the 2016 election. Colin Kaepernick, then in his last season with the 49ers, was the first athlete to kneel during the national anthem as a protest against racial and social injustices, but he has defended his decision to not vote four years ago.
Green, now 30 years old, is putting words into action. The eight-year NBA veteran recently joined LeBron James' "More Than a Vote" initiative, which is designed to fight voter suppression and encourage young people to register to vote.
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"If there's any time that's ever been serious for us, it's serious now," Green said. "If we all sit back and say, ‘I'm only one vote, it don't matter,' then we end up with results like we ended up with the last election that put our country in the place where it is today."
Fellow Warriors star Steph Curry also urged voting earlier this month. And coach Steve Kerr has made his voice loud and clear on President Donald Trump and the importance of voting.
Presidential elections only are one part of the bigger plan, though. Green, a Saginaw, Mich. native wants people of all ages to understand that local votes carry a lot of weight as well.
"I've never really educated myself on the local elections," Green said. "But this is where you're talking about your mayor, your city council, your police chief, your sheriff. I never paid any attention to that. But when you look at where we are as a country, when all of these things are happening to us as black people at an insane rate at the hands of cops, that's something we actually have a say-so on."
This is a new time for the athlete's voice in America and beyond. Warriors forward and Oakland native Juan Toscano-Anderson started a peaceful march around Lake Merritt following the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in Minneapolis police custody. He also was joined by stars like Curry and Klay Thompson, along with Warriors Damion Lee, Kevon Looney and Marquese Chriss.
Athletes know their voice matters, and Green is making sure his is heard with issues that affect us all.
Warriors' Draymond Green didn't vote in 2016, won't make mistake again originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area