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Report: NBA, NBAPA Agree On List Of Custom Jersey Messages For League’s Restart

Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz looks on during the third quarter of the game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on November 17, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association agreed to a list of social justice messages that players can select as replacements for last names on the back of jerseys during the league’s restart at Disney World, according to reports.

The agreement was first reported by ESPN’s The Undefeated on Friday, July 3.

The list of the approved suggested social messages reportedly includes the following words and phrases: Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; I Can’t Breathe; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can); Liberation; See Us; Hear Us; Respect Us; Love Us; Listen; Listen to Us; Stand Up; Ally; Anti-Racist; I Am A Man; Speak Up; How Many More; Group Economics; Education Reform; and Mentor.

According to reports, the custom messages can be used during the first four days of the NBA’s restart which begins on July 30 in Orlando, Florida.

“Players can have a first and second choice, but they do not have to use the space for a social message if they do not want to,” a source told ESPN.

On June 27, The Athletic’s Shams 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.”

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.

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