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The NBPA and NBA agreed to the list of statements, which will be printed on the back of the jerseys for the first four days of the restart, replacing players' last names. Players are given a first and second choice, but the social messages aren’t required. After the first four days, a player can still include the phrase on their jersey, but their last name will be printed underneath. The season restarts on July 30 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.
On June 24, the NBA and NBPA announced that they were still in talks on how to fight systemic racism and make it a focal point when the season resumes. According to The Undefeated, players decided against using names of Black people who have been killed by the police “due to concerns about offending those close to someone whose name might not be used,” ESPN writes, as well as it being difficult to obtain permission from the families.
Reports that the NBA was in discussions regarding the personalized statements emerged on June 28, as a response to players and fans believing that there was more the basketball league could do as a way to rally for justice. Kyrie Irving, in particular, led a group of players in encouraging athletes to boycott the restart in order to focus on societal change, while Stephen Jackson—who was close to George Floyd—believed that NBA superstars should sit out in protest.
The social justice messages are listed below:
Black Lives Matter
Say Her Name
Say Their Names
I Can't Breathe
Power to the People
Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can)
Listen to Us
I Am A Man
How Many More