The sports world reacted on Saturday to the election of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States and also congratulated his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, who will be the first woman to serve in the executive branch.
“YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!!,” Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry tweeted shortly after multiple news organizations proclaimed Biden the winner over President Donald Trump.
The results of Tuesday’s election hinged on the continuing vote count in several states, but the declaration of Biden as the winner of Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes put the former vice president over the 270 electors needed to become president of the United States.
“President Elect @JoeBiden and Madam Vice President @KamalaHarris congrats!!! #46,” wrote soccer player Megan Rapinoe, a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team.
And she followed her tweet with a message to the vice president-elect.
“Cannot understate how historic and incredible this is for @KamalaHarris and for Black women and South Asian women everywhere, and for America. Let’s not look back, ever,” Rapinoe wrote.
Biden’s election has yet to be certified officially. Still, as of Saturday afternoon, he had gained nearly 75 million votes — a record for popular votes for a presidential candidate. Trump had more than 70.6 million, which also was more than any candidate ever in history.
The 2020 election came at a time as athletes in numerous sports became more politically active, using their platforms to encourage Americans to vote. Their effort heightened after the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Black Americans, at the hands of white police officers this spring.
The NBA and WNBA both recognized the Black Lives Matter movement in their seasons. The NFL was among the leagues to close their facilities on Election Day, several arenas were used as voting centers, and athletes including LeBron James sponsored voting movements.
“Congrats President-elect @JoeBiden and Vice President-elect @SenKamalaHarris! Let’s get to work!,” the WNBA champion Seattle Storm tweeted.
Trump has been a polarizing figure among athletes, beginning with his staunch criticism of NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem. Some teams said they wouldn’t make the traditional champions’ visit to the White House while Trump was president — and Trump didn’t issue an invitation, in those cases. Other teams that did make a White House visit excused players who did not want to attend.
Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Kevin Love had a message for Biden.
“46 – Please help us Heal,” he tweeted Saturday.
—Field Level Media