The NBA is reportedly allowing players to choose a social justice message to display on the backs of their jerseys for the upcoming NBA restart, but at least two players aren’t thrilled with their choices, which must come from an approved list.
Philadelphia 76ers forward Mike Scott spoke to the media on Monday and voiced his displeasure with the list, which was reportedly approved by the NBA and NBPA on Friday. Scott didn’t sugarcoat his comments.
Mike Scott: "I don't know, they gave us some names and phrases to put on the back of jerseys. That was terrible. It was a bad list, bad choice, they didn't give players a chance to voice their opinion. They just gave us a list to pick from. So that was bad, that's terrible."— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) July 6, 2020
Didn't have enough space to fit in one tweet, but this was part of his response to a question of how players can use the platform in Orlando to promote causes that fight racial injustice/police reform.— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) July 6, 2020
Scott said he didn't know, but he clearly wasn't impressed with the jerseys.
When it comes to choosing a social justice phrase to put on the back of his jersey — something that could be very personal and meaningful — Scott doesn’t want to choose from a list that he and many NBA players had no input in putting together.
According to Marc J. Spears of ESPN, the list includes the following phrases:
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.
Jaylen Brown agrees with Mike Scott: He would like more options for players to wear on the backs of their jerseys. He says he would like to see some additions.— Tom Westerholm (@Tom_NBA) July 6, 2020
“I’m very disappointed in the list."
Jaylen Brown on jersey messages: "I would like to see more options available to put on the bask of our jersey...For issues and causes such as now, I think that list is an example of a form of limitations...I was very disappointed in the list."— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) July 6, 2020
It’s possible that Scott and Brown aren’t the only ones who feel limited by the NBA’s “disappointing” list of social justice phrases. However, without a concerted, public effort from multiple players, it’s unlikely the NBA will change its mind and allow players to choose their own messages.
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