The NBA’s bubble league in Orlando faces a number of questions that stem from the fact that it is occurring amid a global pandemic, something that is magnified by the fact that Florida has been one of the states hit hardest in recent days and weeks. But beyond that, the United States is in the midst of frequent calls for social reform following the death of George Floyd, a Minnesota man who was killed by a police officer earlier this year.
In the aftermath, untold numbers of individuals have taken to the streets worldwide in an effort to spur widespread change in the face of systemic inequality that disproportionately targets individuals of color. A number of NBA players have reportedly raised this as a concern, with the belief being that basketball coming back would take away from the attention that is currently on this moment.
The NBA’s response to this has included promising to “drive direct action and create meaningful and generational change” through off-court initiatives that spark societal change. There have also been examples of things the league will do in Orlando to show solidarity with this movement, like a report that indicated players can have social justice-inspired messages across the backs of their uniforms where their nameplates would be. On Friday, we got the entire approved list of slogans that players can use, as approved by the NBA and the NBPA.
Via Marc Spears:
The list of the approved suggested social messages, per the source, for the back of the NBA jerseys: 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.
Spears had previously reported that, in an effort to be sensitive towards those who have lost a loved one, players would not be allowed to display the names of those that “died in police custody or in racially motivated incidents.”