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Report: NBA To Allow Players To Replace Last Names On Jerseys With Social Justice Statements

LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers in action against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on January 23, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association plan to allow players to replace their last names on the back of their jerseys with statements on social justice, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

On Saturday, June 27, Charania reported the “NBPA sent players initial details on the plan tonight, stating it is working with the league and Nike. NBA and the players union have been discussing various ways to allow players to express social justice issues in season restart.”

Graphic designer Conrad Burry recently created “Together For Change” jersey concepts for multiple NBA teams based on their current jersey designs.

Burry’s concept design for the Utah Jazz jersey has the words “Stand For Justice.”

NBA and Social Justice Efforts

Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and other players recently met with NBA officials to “address the game’s role in facilitating solutions to the persistent inequities plaguing the Black community.”

The NBPA released a statement following the meeting and said that “while specific plans were not finalized, there was broad alignment about the direction and priorities of the efforts, especially with regard to supporting players’ activism and leadership.”

“Just as we are fighting a pandemic, which is impacting communities and people of color more than anyone else, we are being reminded that there are wounds in our country that have never healed,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver wrote in the memo.

NBA Restart Plan

Starting on July 30, 22 NBA teams, including the Jazz, will finish the 2019-20 regular season with an eight-game schedule.

The games will be played at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and no fans will be in attendance.

No NBA games have been played since the league suspended the season on March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic.