NBA, NBPA Agree to List of Social Justice Messages That Can Appear on Jerseys

NBA players will be able to choose whether they want their jerseys to include a social justice message when the season resumes.

The National Basketball Players Association and the NBA came to the agreement on Friday, deciding that the phrase can be displayed above the number on the back of the jerseys, ESPN reports.

The NBPA and NBA agreed to the list of statements, which will be printed on the back of the jerseys for the first four days of the restart, replacing players' last names. Players are given a first and second choice, but the social messages aren’t required. After the first four days, a player can still include the phrase on their jersey, but their last name will be printed underneath. The season restarts on July 30 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

On June 24, the NBA and NBPA announced that they were still in talks on how to fight systemic racism and make it a focal point when the season resumes. According to The Undefeated, players decided against using names of Black people who have been killed by the police “due to concerns about offending those close to someone whose name might not be used,” ESPN writes, as well as it being difficult to obtain permission from the families.

Reports that the NBA was in discussions regarding the personalized statements emerged on June 28, as a response to players and fans believing that there was more the basketball league could do as a way to rally for justice. Kyrie Irving, in particular, led a group of players in encouraging athletes to boycott the restart in order to focus on societal change, while Stephen Jackson—who was close to George Floyd—believed that NBA superstars should sit out in protest.

The social justice messages are listed below:

Black Lives Matter

Say Her Name

Say Their Names


I Can't Breathe






Power to the People

Justice Now

Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can)


See Us

Hear Us

Respect Us

Love Us


Listen to Us

Stand Up



I Am A Man

Speak Up

How Many More

Group Economics

Education Reform




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