NBA Considering Allowing Players to Wear Personalized Social Justice Messages on Jerseys

Getty Images_Michael A. McCoy
Getty Images/Michael A. McCoy

The NBA is reportedly mulling the idea of allowing players to put social justice slogans on the backs of their jerseys.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul, president of the National Basketball Players Association, recently said that the players are working with the league to change the jersey policy to include any cause or issue an individual player is looking to promote, ESPN reported.

Slogans could include “Black Lives Matter,” or “I Can’t Breathe,” or other sayings and slogans for the causes in which players want to appear involved.

“We’re just trying to continue to shed light on the different social justice issues that guys around our league continue to talk about day in and day out,” Paul told ESPN. “People are saying that social justice will be off of everybody’s mind in Orlando. With these jerseys, it doesn’t go away.”

Paul added that players would not be pressured to add social justice slogans to their jerseys, but they will be confronted with a range of options from which to choose.

“The guys I talked to were definitely excited,” Paul added. “The reason I’m passionate and excited about it is that it gives a voice to the voiceless. It also gives guys a chance to shine a light on something they are passionate about. Otherwise, they may not have been given a chance to express themselves.”

The Thunder player also said that players could even put the names of victims on their jerseys, but that the league would ask permission from family members before doing so.

The NBA will not be the first pro sports league to do this if an agreement is reached.

Early in June, the English Premier League decided to allow players to scrawl social justice messages on their jerseys in the wake of the police-involved death of Minneapolis man George Floyd.

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