On June 27, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the NBA and NBPA are planning to allow players to replace the last name on their jerseys with a statement on social justice when the season resumes inside the Orlando Bubble.
The NBA and NBPA would later release a list of approved social justice statements via ESPN’s Marc Spears:
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; SÃ 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.
Some NBA players, most notably Jaylen Brown and Mike Scott, were disappointed by the messages curated by the NBA and NBPA. According to Brown, some of the NBPA’s submitted messages were declined by the NBA, and the players themselves didn’t have an opportunity to contribute to the list as much as they would have liked. Brown added that players would still like to submit more messages to the NBA’s approved list, and will try to get that done before the season resumes.
Despite controversy surrounding the NBA’s list of approved messages, some players have already decided what will appear on the back of their jerseys in Orlando.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, the first Sacramento King to select a social justice message was Kent Bazemore, who selected ‘Education Reform’ as the cause he would like to represent in Orlando.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 8, 2020