The NBA has made significant progress when it comes to allowing players to speak out about racial injustice issues in the United States, and now it appears jerseys worn during the season resumption at Walt Disney World could look a little different.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard and NBPA president Chris Paul told ESPN's The Undefeated on Saturday that the players' association and league are working towards a deal to allow players to wear jerseys with personalized social justice or cause messages on the backs instead of their last names, according to ESPN's Marc J. Spears.
"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 The Undefeated. "People are saying that social justice will be off of everybody's mind in Orlando. With these jerseys, it doesn't go away."
The personalized jersey messages are among a long list of social justice messages the players plan to make when the season resumes next month. Fighting systemic racism will be one of the main focuses of the return-to-play plan and messages can include such things as "Black Lives Matter" to the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many others who have been killed by acts of police brutality.
Paul has discussed the idea with many players, including those who are white, and they all support the idea. Players will not be forced to wear a message on their jersey, but there will be suggestions for those who are looking for a cause to support.
Many NBA players took part in nationwide protests earlier this month in the wake of Floyd's death. Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown drove 15 hours to Atlanta to lead a peaceful protest alongside Indiana Pacers' Malcolm Brogdon.
Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote an emotional op-ed for the Los Angeles Times and LeBron James has continuously called out racial injustice via social media.
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