According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the organization is considering allowing players to change their jersey names to social justice statements. “The NBA and NBPA are planning to allow players to replace the last name on their jerseys with statement on social justice, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium,” he wrote on Twitter.
While many players are happy to return to the game, some individuals have voiced major concerns. Kyrie Irving led a lengthy Zoom call in early June with the likes of Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Joel Embiid, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant, discussing the timing of the NBA’s return in regards to the coronavirus pandemic and the socio-political environment spurred on by the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Irving explained his disapproval of traveling to cities are that under quarantine to entertain the world, noting that it could steal the spotlight from the Black Lives Matter movement. “I don’t support going into Orlando. I’m not with the systematic racism and the bulsh****. Something smells a little fishy,” Irving said per Charania. He was reportedly backed up by other players included in the call, adding, “I’m willing to give up everything I have (for social reform).”
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 28, 2020
Elsewhere in the sports, the New England Patriots have signed Cam Newton to a one-year deal.