Like other sports leagues, the NBA has suspended its season for several months due to the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, if the season resumes as planned on July 30 in Orlando, Florida, the players will reportedly be allowed to have personalized statements on their jerseys, as part of an extended list of statements on social justice the players plan to make throughout the remainder of the season.
Late Saturday night, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that due to an agreement between the NBA and the National Basketball Players' Association union, athletes participating in the planned resumption of the season will be allowed to replace their last names on the backs of their jerseys with statements on social justice, charity or other causes.
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul, president of the National Basketball Players Association, is heading the campaign and spoke about it with ESPN's The Undefeated on Saturday.
“We’re just trying to continue to shed light on the different social justice issues that guys around our league continue to talk about day in and day out,” Paul stated about why the players' union and the league are collaborating to allow the players to send messages via their jerseys.
“People are saying that social justice will be off of everybody’s mind in Orlando. With these jerseys, it doesn’t go away,” he added.