As part of the league’s effort to continue fighting for racial justice and against police brutality during the NBA restart, the league and the NBPA agreed to feature personalized social justice messages on jerseys.
It turns out that the players don’t have full autonomy on the personalization of those jerseys. Instead, Marc Spears of The Undefeated reported last week that players were given a list of approved messages to choose from:
The list of the suggested social messages that were agreed upon by the NBPA and the NBA and then made available to players via email, per the source, are: Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; I Can’t Breathe; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can); Liberation; See Us; Hear Us; Respect Us; Love Us; Listen; Listen to Us; Stand Up; Ally; Anti-Racist; I Am A Man; Speak Up; How Many More; Group Economics; Education Reform; and Mentor.
Former Clipper Mike Scott told reporters Monday that players weren’t given a choice in the matter, calling the idea a “bad miss.” His teammate Josh Richardson said he felt limited by the options provided, which defeats the point of allowing the players to express themselves. Pacers forward TJ Warren noted that “Black Humanity” wasn’t approved.
Austin Rivers wanted to honor Trayvon Martin on his jersey, but the NBA decided not to include the names of individuals murdered due to police brutality out of sensitivity for the families of those whose names were not used.
Jaylen Brown of the Celtics — who is a Vice President on the NBPA Executive Committee and theoretically should have been involved in this process — offered some ideas of messages that he would have preferred.
Celtics Jaylen Brown says that he hopes the NBA makes adjustments to the list of approved social justice statements for the back of jerseys because the list is “a little bit limiting.” Says he would like to see “results”, “break the cycle” and “inequality by design” added.— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) July 6, 2020
The NBA will still paint Black Lives Matter on their game courts, but the jersey plan (players’ selections were reportedly due Monday) now feels like a wasted opportunity.
More news for Tuesday:
- The WNBA, which arrived in Florida at its bubble Monday, has a newly-formed Social Justice Council that has worked with the league to specifically spotlight the names of women who were the victims of violence on players jerseys. Players will also wear warm-up shirts with “Black Lives Matter” on the front and “Say Her Name” on the back.
- Bradley Beal has opted out of the NBA restart with a shoulder injury. Spencer Dinwiddie is also not making the trip after testing positive for the coronavirus. The bottom of the Eastern Conference just gets worse and worse.
- Dwight Howard is joining the Lakers in Orlando and will donate his game checks (about $700,000) to charity.
- Former Clipper Sindarius Thornwell has been signed as a replacement player for the New Orleans Pelicans for the rest of the season, though we still don’t know who he is replacing. Montrezl Harrell was happy for his former teammate, and we look forward to seeing them on the floor together on Aug. 1.