Players May Wear Statements On Their Jerseys

The NBA might allow players to replace their names with personalized statements on the back of their jerseys when the season resumes, writes Marc J. Spears of ESPN. The statements can involve social justice, social causes or charities.

“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 Thunder guard Chris Paul, who serves as president of the National Basketball Players Association. “People are saying that social justice will be off of everybody’s mind in Orlando. With these jerseys, it doesn’t go away.”

Jerseys can feature messages such as “Black Lives Matter” or “I Can’t Breathe” or possibly the names of people who were killed by police, such as George Floyd or Breonna Taylor, Spears adds. The NBA and its players union announced this week that the fight against systemic racism will be part of the focus of the restart. Numerous players had expressed concern that resuming the season would take away from their social justice crusade.

Paul, who hasn’t decided what his message will be, said many players have expressed support for the idea, including some who aren’t Black. Suggestions will be provided for players who want to participate and are looking for a cause.

“The guys I talked to were definitely excited,” he said. “The reason I’m passionate and excited about it is that it gives a voice to the voiceless. It also gives guys a chance to shine a light on something they are passionate about. Otherwise, they may not have been given a chance to express themselves.”

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31 thoughts on “Players May Wear Statements On Their Jerseys

  1. Buckman

    I wonder if there will be a review process for the statement. This has the potential to create unintended consequences. 2020 seems to be the year of unintended consequences of decisions great and small.

  2. richt

    A great gesture for sure, but I’m guessing that’s not the extent of what players will do.

  3. Perry W

    silly idea.
    politics belongs in sport as much as sport belongs in politics.

    • bedbathandbiyombo

      racial equality is not a political issue, it’s a human rights issue. it deserves a place in every facet of our lives – work, home, religion, sport

      • x%sure

        It’s about work not convenience. The workplace is not the place.

        The validity of whatever the statement is is not the point.

        Chris Paul is fritzing out with his union-leader role.

      • Buckman

        Can they sell the space to the highest bidder like naming rights? A safe space has been created for some small measure of personal opinion. No one will risk their $$$ for the cause of social justice. The sad thing is the athlete who started this most recent awareness campaign, Colin Kapernick, is still without a job. They should pony up some buck$ for him.

        • rxbrgr

          Kaep signed a contract with Nike for tens of millions of dollars after he realized activism is more lucrative for him than holding a clipboard. He doesn’t need any $$$, nor does he have the talent to be a starting QB and earn starting QB $$$.

    • I know it’s a joke but what will be the review process for these? I have no problem with the concept, but do the statements have to be civil rights related? What about refugees? What happens when a player wants to put “All Lives Matter” on their jersey?

      • stevep-4

        That player will suffer quick retribution on the court, I suspect. Hard fouls ate still practiced.

    • The Human Rain Delay

      Time and place and this isnt it

      At the beginning of Corona I was hoping animal rights might finally get some well deserved attention it has always deserved in the end…….. But nope, instead we look at quicker ways to get back onto the beach and strip our masks away today….shame

      • Buckman

        The scale of the human economy has now made pandemics due to zoonoses a certainty from this point on. It is both difficult to envision how to scale back our presence on the planet and describe it with a slogan that will fit on the back of a jersey.

        • The Human Rain Delay

          I agree this is not the platform but I hope we address this sooner than later –

          It took the greatest pandemic ever to get it about 9 days media coverage and now Buried per usual; sad

          • El Don

            @thehumanraindelay
            “It took the greatest pandemic ever”… I mean it probably doesn’t make it in the top 100 ever, but whatever gets you off dude!

  4. HailRodgers12$

    I’m guessing both the league and teams will have some say in what players are allowed to put on their uniforms. But I think it could be a nightmare all around. If a player is set on saying 1 thing, and the league or team owner is a against it, then what? He does it anyway to protest? He gets suspended for not following rules? He opts to sit out rather than adhere to the rules?

  5. RyanO

    Great idea. 40 mil unemployed but at least we can hear millionaires discuss the systemic american racism that so clearly affects them.

    • seattlesuperfan

      They have a platform to express it. Yeah they’re millionaires now but we don’t know their story. And if a bunch of millionaires start talking about a problem in the US then maybe we can get some headway on making thing acceptable. To say anything that’s going on in the world is good is almost a joke. So to have some sports back is nice and the fact they’ll have whatever they have supporting whoever on the jerseys will give us a daily reminder that the fight is still not over

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Sports is entertainment business. And players are performers. All have their own platform and following. I’m ok with it. I’m sure it will be monitored. Human rights issues are not political. Even though some would want you to believe that. Wear a Mask

  7. LordBanana

    Amazing how many people still freak out at the idea of a black athlete talking about something that isn’t sports and saying something that isn’t along the lines of yes master.
    How many think, hey we freed them from slavery and even gave a tiny fraction good paying jobs, why can’t they just shut up now?
    Amazing how many say they shouldn’t speak out about politics but can’t wait to tell you about there’s.
    Incredible how many racists still hide behind continual argument in any situation that this isn’t a good time or place to talk about civil rights.
    So many who look for any reason to justify their racist thoughts and racist violence against blacks.

    Luckily we have Hoopsrumors to give a platform to these people. Nearly every comment section has a distinct anti-black sentiment. The same people who love to keep politics out of sports love to keep politics and racism in basketball comment boards. Keep up the good work.

    • ThePeople'sElbow

      doncha know every sportsrumors site traffics in racist, misogynistic and homophobic comments from many so called “fans”.

      well said BananaLord

    • x%sure

      Fun with sarcasm. Let’s make people billboards for your issue, set aside other people’s.

      How to fit on a jersey, “down with over-protective public-sector unions”.
      Or, “quarantines make some people squirrely”.
      Actually there would be a good logo for that, a big Q and a leaping squirrel at the bottom.
      Changing screens

  8. Vol4ever

    This kind of thing will end pro sports. Sports players are paid to do a job, not make public statements. See employees getting in trouble for using social media. Do your job and get paid millions. Keep this up and the fans will walk.

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