ORLANDO - The Orlando Magic announce today the team's "VOTE" T-shirts will be available for purchase through the Magic team app or at OrlandoMagic.OrderNext.com starting July 27, with proceeds going to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC). 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. After Magic players, coaches and staff donned the "VOTE" T-shirts as they arrived for the NBA restart at the Walt Disney World Resort NBA campus on July 7, a large outpouring of support and requests for the shirts followed.
The impetus for the shirts began after Magic players, coaches and basketball operations staff took part in an interactive Zoom call with voting rights activist Meade. The call inspired the team to enact social change by encouraging others to get out and vote.
FRRC is a grassroots, membership organization run by Returning Citizens (Formerly Convicted Persons) who are dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions, and creating a more comprehensive and humane re-entry system that will enhance successful re-entry, reduce recidivism, and increase public safety. Meade led the successful effort to pass a 2018 state initiative that restored voting rights to 1.4 million Floridians with prior felony convictions. In 2019, Time magazine named Meade as one of the "100 most influential people in the world," and Magic players were moved by his push to get more people voting in local, state and national elections that could potentially bring about change in terms of social injustices.
The Orlando Magic remains deeply committed to working collectively to promote peaceful and necessary social change. The Magic organization has always worked to create a culture where all feel welcomed, valued and appreciated, where all are treated with dignity and respect. The team's efforts will continue now and in the future joining its players, coaches and staff along with the NBA and its teams to support the Black Lives Matter movement. The Magic also recently released a video entitled Walk With Us calling for people to come together and support that movement. For more information, please visit www.orlandomagic.com/walk-with-us.