The NBA season resumes tonight with a Western Conference doubleheader. It’s Jazz/Pelicans at 6:30 p.m., followed by Lakers/Clippers at nine.
As part of the return to play agreement, players are allowed to swap out their last name for a social justice message on their jersey, which stems from the George Floyd killing and ensuing wave of reform sweeping across the country. The messages were pre-approved by the league and union, which some players criticized as being sanitized and pointless.
That considered, only six Philadelphia players decided to opt in, and they will wear the following according to NBA.com:
- Alec Burks | Enough
- Furkan Korkmaz | Equality
- Raul Neto | Equality
- Kyle O’Quinn | Hear Us
- Josh Richardson | Say Their Names
- Matisse Thybulle | Vote
We’ve got the Turkish guy and the Brazilian guy doing social justic messages, which seems ironic to me when you consider that only four other guys besides them decided to participate. Tobias Harris and Mike Scott have probably been the most outspoken on social justice in recent press conferences, but they’ll continue with their names on their jerseys. Perhaps they just see this as a meaningless and/or symbolic compromise, and maybe something larger is being planned.
The total number, six players, is actually the lowest in the NBA as far as participants. The Raptors, for instance, have all 17 players wearing a message on their jersey. And some notes will be in foreign languages, with Steven Adams, for instance, going with “Kia Kaha,” which is Maori for “Stay Strong” or “Power To The People.”