Players in restart can replace last name on NBA jersey with social justice message

social justice jersey
Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

The first week of Premier League games in England, players’ last names across the backs of their jerseys were replaced with “Black Lives Matter.”

When the NBA restarts in Orlando, players will be able to do something similar to support social justice, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

It’s akin to what Angel McCoughtry of the WNBA is proposing the league does when it returns to the court in July. She posted this to her Instagram account last week.

View this post on Instagram

I will be playing this upcoming @wnba and I am looking forward to continue to fight social injustice issues while playing and supporting front line workers. ⠀ ⠀ I am currently working with the @lvaces and @wnba to use our voices, our uniforms, and our sport to continue to impact and create real change. I am creating a petition (LINK IN BIO) to allow players the ability to put the FIRST & LAST NAME of HUMAN BEINGS that who have been injured or KILLED in incidents involving POLICE BRUTALITY! Even Front line workers during the pandemic The goal is also to create a relationship with the families of who’s name the athlete has chosen. This is a way to use our platform to be a helping hand during these trying times. Silence is an ally for EVIL and when sports resume WE WILL NOT BE SILENT. ⠀ ⠀ #SayTheirNames ⠀ #blacklivesmatter ⠀ #thetimeisnow

A post shared by Angel McCoughtry #35 (@mccoughtry) on

The NBA has said it wants the restart to address issues of racial inequality and systemic racism, and this can be one part of that effort. A very visible part. Allowing the players to customize what is across the back of their jerseys makes it more personal and the statement will get seen.

The NBA needs to do things more concrete than this as well, but this is an excellent first step.