When the NBA returns to action in July, players will have the option of replacing their last names on their jersey with social justice statements, The Athletic's Shams Charania reports.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 28, 2020
The NBPA is currently in talks with the league and Nike, the creators of the current jerseys, in order to figure out the best plan of action, Charania reported. The decision to add a statement on social justice to the jerseys is similar to what the Premier League did upon its return in June. For the first 12 games, players will have 'Black Lives Matter" on the back of their jerseys rather than their last names.
The decision by the NBA and NBPA is the latest measure taken as the league and players look to find ways to ensure that their voices can still be used to create change even when basketball resumes. Rather than have the sport become a distraction from the outside world, both sides are dedicated to using the large platform as a way to combat systemic racism and promote social justice.
As the NBA nears its return, there has been some concern from players about how they could focus on the current issues at hand while playing basketball in a bubble in Orlando. Kyrie Irving, Dwight Howard and Lou Williams are among the players who were hesitant about a return.
However, all parties involved in the NBA restart are continuously working to make sure that basketball's return involves ways to create social change. LeBron James has recently stated that even when he is back on the court, his work off it will not be done until real progress is seen.
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