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LeBron James and President Barack Obama at the White House in 2013. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Obama praised NBA and WNBA teams and players Sunday who "take a stand for racial justice and encourage civic participation," as he congratulated the Los Angeles Lakers and Seattle Storm on their championship wins.

The big picture: The Lakers clinched the NBA title Sunday and the Storm defeated the Las Vegas Aces last Tuesday to win the WNBA Championships. Sports stars have used their platforms this season to support social justice, civic engagement and voting rights. Obama praised Lakers star LeBron James earlier this month for his More Than a Vote drive to increase the number of poll workers in Black electoral districts.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Nov 3, 2020 - Sports

How the election could change sports

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The outcome of the 2020 election will greatly impact the sports world. And through its efforts to increase voter turnout, the sports world could greatly impact the outcome of the 2020 election.

Where it stands: College sports are off. The NCAA is requiring that all Division I programs give their student athletes the day off from sports today, an idea that was first introduced in June by Georgia Tech assistant basketball coach Eric Reveno.

Nov 4, 2020 - Sports

In photos: 33 pro sports venues serve as polling places on Election Day

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

33 pro sports venues were open as polling locations on Election Day, offering voters a more socially-distanced option to cast their ballots.

Venues by state: California (8), Texas (5), D.C. (3), Arizona (2), Indiana (2), New York (2), Maryland (2), Missouri (1), Colorado (1), Washington (1), Wisconsin (1), Pennsylvania (1), New Jersey (1), Ohio (1), Illinois (1), Utah (1).

By the numbers: Where the earmarks are wanted

Expand chart
Data: House Committee on Appropriations; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is being targeted for the largest collective earmark request in the country, according to a detailed breakdown of overall requests released by the House Appropriations Committee.

Why it matters: House appropriators are trying to balance bipartisan momentum for infrastructure investment with "pork-barrel" spending's checkered political history. The data dump is an effort to provide transparency for what are now termed "community project funding" requests.