COVID-19 is still a threat that can result in some serious consequences for the NBA — nobody has forgotten that. But even in the midst of plans to continue the season, and the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country, the NBA also wants to ensure they’re doing their part to promote social justice.
The past few weeks have been headlined by protests and calls for change after George Floyd (an unarmed black husband and father) was heartbreakingly killed by police. The response by the public, including the NBA community, has been loud with support for black lives, racial equality, and police reform.
The NBA wants players to continue standing up for the cause and their most recent move provides players their own special way of doing that — even as they are playing on the court.
According to Shams Charania, the league is allowing to change the names on their jerseys.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 28, 2020
Sports have one of the biggest platforms in the world an the NBA is no exception. While there is a limit to what they’re able to do during a game, the personalization of the jerseys is certainly a step in a positive direction.
NBPA President Chris Paul recently spoke on the move to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears.
“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. People are saying that social justice will be off of everybody’s mind in Orlando. With these jerseys, it doesn’t go away.”
Of course, players plan on taking advantage of the opportunity.
“The guys I talked to were definitely excited,” Paul 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.”
Good on Adam Silver and league executives to give players a creative way to speak out on issues plaguing our time. It shouldn’t be a huge surprise though, as the NBA is usually always ahead on these types of things.
Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of things we’ll see on these jerseys and how the rest of the world will react to them. We’ll see soon enough…