The National Basketball Assn. has reached agreement with its players union on 29 social justice statements that players can optionally have on the back of their jerseys instead of their names.
The NBA plans to resume its season and playoffs on July 30 in Orlando, Florida. The league already said that the phrase “Black Lives Matter” will appear on the courts.
The reported list of approved social messages includes 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.
The league claims the messages will keep a focus on social justice topics during its revival. Some players were earlier talking about not participating in the league’s Orlando experiment for fear it would take away from the social issues of the moment. The NBA and NBPA instead reached a compromise that spotlighting the issues will be a shared goal.
“We’re just trying to continue to shed light on the different social justice issues that guys around our league continue to talk about day in and day out,” said Oklahoma Thunder guard Chris Paul, president of the players union. “People are saying that social justice will be off of everybody’s mind in Orlando. With these jerseys, it doesn’t go away.
Earlier, the NFL said it would increase its commitment to social justice, donating $250 million to social justice causes. It also indicated that the so-called “Black National Anthem,” the song Lift Ev’ry Voice And Sing, would be performed in some fashion before Week 1 games in the coming season.
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