Several players have already committed to changing the last name on their jerseys to a preapproved social justice message for the NBA’s restart this month at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida.
Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis, however, isn’t one of them.
Davis explained on Sunday that he will be sticking with his last name when play resumes on July 30.
“The name ‘Davis’ is something that I try to represent every time I step on the floor,” Davis said, via USA Today. “I was kind of torn between the two. I didn’t know what to decide. Should I have a social justice message or should I have my last name there?”
The decision to allow players to wear a message instead of their last name is one of several plans the league has to help players speak out about social justice issues during play in Florida.
Several players — including Rudy Gobert, Damian Lillard, Enes Kanter and more — have already revealed their choices, ranging from “Equality,” “Vote,” “Freedom,” and “How many more?” to name a few. Milwaukee Bucks veteran Kyle Korver will don “Black Lives Matter” on his jersey, too. According to ESPN, 285 of the 350 players participating in the restart have already chosen a social justice message for their jersey.
“I didn’t go with a name on the back of my jersey,” James said on 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.”
Now, just because Davis isn’t changing the name on his jersey doesn’t mean that he doesn’t support the cause or want to speak out about social and racial injustice. He’s more than open to getting involved.
This initiative from the NBA, however, will have to go on without him.
“I just think my last name is something that is very important to me,” Davis said, via USA Today. “Social justice is as well, but it’s just holding my family name and representing the name on the back to go through this process. … There’s people who’ve been with me through my entire career to help me get to this point.”
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