The National Collegiate Athletic Association has announced that it will allow players to place social justice slogans on jerseys, becoming the next sports body to bend to the will of Black Lives Matter activism.
The college sports governing body said on Thursday that it had authorized players to wear a “commemorative patch” on jerseys for the coming 2020 and 2021 seasons.
“The patch on the front, which most sports already allowed, as authorized by the school or conference, may be a commemorative/memorial patch (names, mascots, nicknames, logos, and marks) intended to celebrate or memorialize people, events or other causes,” the NCAA said in a statement.
Players will also be permitted to place slogans on their jersey’s backs where their names usually appear.
“The second location is on the back of the uniform where the player name is traditionally located and, as authorized by the school or conference, will allow names/words intended to celebrate or memorialize people, events, or other causes. The names or words may vary by team member,” the NCAA statement explained.
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved rules to allow student-athletes to wear patches on their uniforms for commemorative and memorial purposes as well as to support social justice issues: https://t.co/yjuEsMYMy7 pic.twitter.com/AdWLgFMZ0D
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) July 30, 2020
It was not immediately clear if there is an approved list of such slogans from which the student-athletes may choose.
The NCAA joins a growing number of leagues allowing players to festoon their jerseys with social justice messaging.
The NBA, for instance, recently reported that it had an official list of approved phrases and words for its players to choose. Major League Soccer also gave players its approval to use jerseys and field equipment for left-wing sloganeering. And despite keeping politics at arm’s reach for decades, Major League Baseball went all in for the Black Lives Matter agenda for 2020.
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