Following the NBA’s plan to return next month, the league has been coming up with creative ideas on how they can call for justice.
On Saturday night (June 27), Shams Charania of The Athletic explained that the NBA and NBPA are “planning to allow players to replace the last name on their jerseys” with a statement on social justice.
Charania added, “NBPA sent players initial details on the plan tonight, stating it is working with the league and Nike. The NBA and the players union have been discussing various ways to allow players to express social justice issues in season restart.”
Back in March, the NBA announced their hiatus in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic,” the league said in a statement, per The New York Times.
The announcement regarding the league’s social justice idea came after Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard agreed with Kyrie Irving that the 2019-20 basketball season should be cancelled until further notice. Howard argued that the sport shouldn’t pick back up in light of today’s climate and COVID-19 pandemic.
“I agree with Kyrie. Basketball, or entertainment period, isn’t needed at this moment, and will only be a distraction,” the statement from Howard read. “Sure it might not distract us the players, but we have resources at hand the majority of our community don’t have. And the smallest distraction for them, can start a trickle down effect that may never stop. Especially the way the climate is now. I would love nothing more than to win my very first NBA Championship. But the unity of My People would be an even bigger Championship, that’s just (too) beautiful to pass up. What better time than now for us to be focusing on our families.”