Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James says he will not include any social justice messages on his jerseys when the season resumes at the end of the month.
As part of the NBA's restart plan, the league is allowing players to choose from an extensive list of social justice movements to highlight on the back of their jerseys. The agreement with the players association came after the death of George Floyd sparked nationwide protests over racial disparities.
James has been an advocate for many progressive causes throughout his 17-year career, including launching an African-American-focused get-out-the-vote group and starting a school for disadvantaged kids in hometown of Akron, Ohio. He emphasized his decision to opt out of the NBA effort means no disrespect to those participating.
He said, "I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. It’s just something that didn’t seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal. ... I don’t need to have something on the back of my jersey for people to understand my mission or know what I’m about and what I'm here to do."
According to ESPN, 285 of the expected 350 eligible NBA players have chosen a movement to highlight on their jerseys, while 17 will leave their jersey name as is.
For Newsy, I'm Gage Jackson.