There have been quite a few players across the NBA who have decided to change the last name on the back of their jerseys in favor of social justice messages when the league restarts later this month at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
Two players not participating? Los Angeles Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Both teammates explained why they decided not to put “Equality” or “Black Lives Matter” or “Freedom” on the backs of their jerseys.
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“I didn’t go with a name on the back of my jersey,” James said on Saturday. “It was no disrespect to the list that was handed down to all the players. I commend anyone that decides something on the back of our jersey. Just something that didn’t seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal.”
“The name ‘Davis’ is something that I try to represent every time I step on the floor,” Davis added. “I was kind of torn between the two. I didn’t know what to decide. Should I have a social justice message or should I have my last name there?
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Davis continued: “I just think my last name is something that is very important to me. Social justice is as well, but it’s just holding my family name and representing the name on the back to go through this process … There’s people who’ve been with me through my entire career to help me get to this point.”
Some of the players that decided to wear an alternative name of the back of their jerseys include: Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, and Boston Celtics big man Enes Kanter. Milwaukee Bucks guard Kyle Korver also said that he will wear “Black Lives Matter” on the back of his uniform.
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According to ESPN, 285 of the 350 players have decided to wear a social justice message on their jerseys.