SAN ANTONIO – Prior to the restart of the NBA season in Orlando, the league and the players association agreed to allow social justice messages to be displayed on team jerseys.
Players were given a list of pre-approved messages, agreed upon by both parties, that they could wear on the back of their jerseys. Players could also opt-out of having a message.
A dozen Spurs players have decided to wear social justice messages on their jerseys.
ICYMI: Here are the social justice messages the #Spurs players will have on their jerseys for the #NBA restart. (H/T @bouncepassos for posting first).— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) July 28, 2020
Marco Belinelli will have "uguaglianza" which in Italian means equality. #KSATsports #KSATnews pic.twitter.com/jvy1L29QZj
“Justice” was the message selected the most by Spurs players. “Black Lives Matter” and “Equality” will be the second most-used message.
Marco Belinelli choose “Uguaglianza,” which is Italian for “Equality.”
Patty Mills was not on the NBA’s list of players who will wear a social justice message.
Mills announced on July 8 that he will give his salary for the eight seeding games, more than $1 million, to Black Lives Matter initiatives and social justice causes in Australia.
For the players who chose a message, the messages will be displayed in place of a player’s last name on the back of the jersey during the first four days of the restart.
After the first four days, a player can still have a message on the back of their jerseys, but their last name will be below the message.
Many players have used the NBA restart as an opportunity to speak out on social justice issues.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has been very outspoken on social justice issues and advocated for players and the league to use their platform for change while in Orlando.
In several media sessions, Popovich has worn a t-shirt that reads, “VOTE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT.”
The NBA also agreed to put “Black Lives Matter” on the court that will be used for seeding games.
Below is a list of the messages Spurs players will wear:
- Trey Lyles | Antiracist
- Jakob Poeltl | Black Lives Matter
- Lonnie Walker | Black Lives Matter
- DeMar DeRozan | Education Reform
- Derrick White | Enough
- Bryn Forbes | Equality
- Luka Samanic I Freedom
- Quinndary Weatherspoon | I Can't Breathe
- Drew Eubanks | Justice
- Rudy Gay | Justice
- Keldon Johnson | Justice
- Marco Belinelli | Uguaglianza (Italian for “Equality”)