LOS ANGELES — In an attempt to continue to keep focus on the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight against social injustice and racial inequality, the NBA will allow players to replace the names on the backs of their jerseys with statements promoting those causes, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The league, the National Basketball Players Association and Nike, the jersey manufacturer, are working on a deal to allow for this to happen as the league prepares to restart its season July 30 at Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, the Los Angeles Times said.
Commissioner Adam Silver said last week the league wanted to use its return as a way to increase awareness and to implement change in society.
“This includes strategies to increase black representation in all positions across the NBA and its teams, (to) ensure greater inclusion of black-operated businesses across NBA business activities, and the formation of an NBA foundation to expand educational and economic development opportunities across the Black community,” Silver said.
“Ultimately, whether it’s fighting racism or a pandemic, we’re coming back because sports matter in our society.”
Union president Chris Paul said the players plan to make good use of the attention they anticipate receiving when the season resumes.
“Just know that you’re going to continue to hear us. Just know that,” Paul said last week. “It’s never a shut-up-and-dribble situation. You’re going to continue to hear us and see us.”
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Coverage of local and national protests from the Tampa Bay Times
WHAT PROTESTERS WANT: Protesters explain what changes would make them feel like the movement is successful.
WHAT ARE NON-LETHAL AND LESS-LETHAL WEAPONS? A guide to what’s used in local and national protests.
WHAT ARE ARRESTED PROTESTERS CHARGED WITH? About half the charges filed have included unlawful assembly.
CAN YOU BE FIRED FOR PROTESTING? In Florida, you can. Learn more.
HEADING TO A PROTEST? How to protect eyes from teargas, pepper spray and rubber bullets.