Fresh off a road win against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Toronto Raptors dropped a Black Lives Matter-inspired capsule collection on Wednesday. First seen during training last summer in the Orlando NBA bubble, the limited line can now be purchased by fans on the Real Sports website.
Toronto-based artists Adeyemi Adegbesan and Mark Stoddart designed the merch, with 100 percent of the proceeds going towards local Toronto initiatives and not-for-profit organizations of the artists’ choice.
The Raptors have been leaders in the NBA in discussing social change following the Black Lives Matter protests over the course of Summer 2020. When arriving in Orlando last July, the team showed up on buses that read “Black Lives Matter.”
Alongside other NBA teams, the Raps boycotted games in August following the death of Jacob Blake. Many NBA players wore jerseys that displayed social justice phrases instead of their names on the back throughout the bubble season. Norman Powell criticized the NBA for this, as the players had to choose from a limited list of roughly thirty phrases.
Last week, a lawsuit launched by Alameda County sheriff’s deputy Alan Strickland, who shoved Raptors president Masai Ujiri following the 2019 championship win, was dismissed. In a statement, Ujiri stated his battle “was not a legal one,” and instead asks, “How can we stop another man or woman from finding themselves in front of a judge or behind bars because they committed no crime other than being Black?”