The National Basketball Association will allow players to inscribe social justice messages on top of their jersey numbers.
A source told ESPN that the league reached a deal with the National Basketball Players Association, a union, that would allow team players to use messages of activism on their jerseys after July 30.
Among the messages reportedly allowed include: “Black Lives Matter,” “Say Their Names,” “Vote,” “I Can’t Breathe,” “Power to the People,” and others. Players are not required to participate upon the start of the season, and they can opt out of using their jerseys for activism. Should a player not opt to include a phrase, the person’s last name will appear above the jersey number instead.
The messages will be displayed for the first four days of games.
On June 24, the NBA agreed to enter conversations with the union on how to better deal with social justice issues, promising to fight systemic racism in the future.
“The group that met agreed in principle that the goal of the season restart in Orlando will be to take collective action to combat systemic racism and racial inequality across the country,” a joint statement said.
The NBA went on hiatus in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Teams are expected to return to play on July 30.
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