The NBA’s biggest name is still planning to have that name on the back of his jersey when the league begins play in Disney World.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James told reporters that he will keep “James” above his number rather than wear the various social justice messages approved by the NBA for the league’s reboot.
"I didn't go with a name on the back of my jersey," James said Saturday. "It was no disrespect to the list that was handed down to all the players. I commend anyone that decides something on the back of our jersey. Just something that didn't seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal.
"I would have loved to have a say so on what would have went on the back of the jersey, but I'm OK with that. ... I don't need to have something on the back of the jersey for people to understand my mission and what I'm about."
Per ESPN, 285 of the expected 350 eligible NBA players have picked a social justice message to wear on their jerseys. Only 17 players have decided to continue using their names so far.
The jersey social justice messages were part of the league’s effort to maintain the conversation around racial injustice and police brutality while still playing out its season. James was among the players reported to believe that playing wouldn’t get in the way of their social justice efforts.
The NBA’s list of social justice messages have also drawn criticism for not allowing players to go far enough, restricting them from some more controversial messages as well as the names of victims of police brutality.
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