Butler tried to do it anyway — he walked out on the court to start the Heat’s first restart game without a name on his jersey. The referees made him change it.
— x – Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) August 1, 2020
Butler previously explained his reasoning for wanting no name as, “If I wasn’t who I was today, I’m no different than anybody else of color.”
That idea resonated with some players, a reported 30 others wanted no name on their jersey either. It was still a no go with the league, who said it was not part of the curated list of social justice messages that players could wear on their jerseys.
Jimmy Butler says he doesn't know exactly why he was asked to change his jersey before tipoff and adds "I don't care" about the league's explanation. Butler said he relented "for my teammates" and described it as "to be determined" if he tries to play in a blank jersey again
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 1, 2020
The NBA’s list was not expansive enough for most players, who wanted more. However, no more names were added.
In reaction, the NBPA and Russell Westbrook‘s clothing company teamed up for a line of social justice message apparel.