It's bigger than basketball.
Ahead of the restart of the 2019-20 season later this month, the NBA and NBPA have maintained that a chief goal of the season restart in Orlando, Florida will be to take collective action to combat systemic racism and promote social justice.
A number of players - and teams - have already shared the various ways in which they will use their platform to keep the bigger picture in focus.
Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans
Incredible gesture by @Jrue_Holiday11 and @laurenholiday12 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/3hm9dsIPns- New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) July 15, 2020
On Wednesday, July 15, Holiday announced that he and his wife, Lauren, will be donating his game checks for the remainder of the regular season, a figure that is potentially worth up to $5.3 million.
The Holidays plan to donate to a variety of charities across the country, including a number of Black-owned businesses. Additionally, Holiday will wear "Say Their Names" on the back of his jersey once play resumes.
Patty Mills, San Antonio Spurs
ICYMI: San Antonio Spurs Guard Patty Mills has committed his entire earnings from Orlando to Black Lives Matter Australia, Black Deaths in Custody and the #WeGotYou Campaign. 🖤🗣- Spurs Give (@SpursGive) July 14, 2020
Absolutely incredible, way to go Patty! 👏#NBATogether | #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/jk08zyi2Am
"I've made the decision to go to Orlando and I'm proud to say that I'm taking every cent earned from these eight games that we're playing, which for me will turn out to be $1,017,818.54, and donating that directly to Black Lives Matter Australia, Black Deaths in Custody and to a recent campaign that's called the 'We Got You' campaign, dedicated to ending racism in sport in Australia."
"I'm playing in Orlando because I don't want to leave any money on the table that could be going directly to Black communities."
Norman Powell, Toronto Raptors
Per Lori Newman of the Canadian Press, Powell plans to donate 100% of the July sales from the spring/summer collection of his Understand the Grind clothing line will go to help two foundations: Black Women in Motion, which is based in Toronto and Color of Change, which is based in the United States.
Powell added that he will double the money raised towards each foundation and that he will wear "Black Lives Matter" on the back of his jersey upon the season's restart.
The defending champion Raptors arrived in Orlando in buses bearing the message "Black Lives Matter." When the team exited the bus into their hotel, members of the roster, as well as president Masai Ujiri and head coach Nick Nurse, were pictured wearing shirts and sweatshirts that bore the same message.
On Instagram, the organization's official account made it clear that "silence is not an option."
Los Angeles Lakers
A message from our coaches: We're not done. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/1yBhEe2TP5- Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 11, 2020
"Just know, whether we're in Orlando or L.A., we're not done with this conversation because Black Lives Matter."
Members of the Los Angeles Lakers staff, including head coach Frank Vogel and assistant coach Jason Kidd, sat down to share an important message prior to the team's departure to Orlando.
Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs
pic.twitter.com/kHv3xQdkU3- San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) July 11, 2020
"It's a seminal moment in the sense that we have an opportunity to do something transformative if we have the courage," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said in a video shared to the Spurs Twitter account ahead of the restart.
Fighting for change ✊🏾 pic.twitter.com/R3dszyOIzu- Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) July 9, 2020
In a Tweet bearing the message "Fighting for change," members of the Indiana Pacers were photographed wearing shirts that read "I Can't Breathe" upon their arrival to the Disney campus.
The @Orlandomagic depart @AmwayCenter for @WaltDisneyWorld with a social message: Get off the bench. Get into the game. Vote. #GameOn | #WholeNewGame pic.twitter.com/T9g9sgfkMo- Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) July 7, 2020
Orlando, the team that had the shortest trip to Walt Disney World, wore shirts promoting the action to go out and vote during their 30-minute trip to the bubble.
Social justice jersey messages
Per ESPN's Marc Spears, the NBA and NBPA agreed upon 29 different social justice messages that can be displayed on the back of jerseys in order to keep the focus on topics such as police brutality and systemic racism.
Ahead of the action, players and teams have revealed which messages they will display on the back of their jerseys.
Dallas Mavericks - "Equality"
Equality is a universal language.#MFFL #WholeNewGame pic.twitter.com/Onylfw9YEs- Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) July 9, 2020
The Mavericks, a team that features players hailing from seven different countries, announced that each player will have "Equality" on the back of their jerseys in their native language.
We stand together in the fight for substantial change. #WholeNewGame #MileHighBasketball pic.twitter.com/0L9PV2YjOs- Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) July 14, 2020
Like the Mavericks, the Nuggets shared a video to their official social media platforms that shared the various messages that their players have chosen.
Bol Bol, Tyler Cook Troy Daniels and Monte Morris will wear "Black Lives Matter," Michael Porter Jr. will wear "Stand Up," Jamal Murray will wear "Freedom," Vlatko Cancar and Gary Harris will wear "Equality," Torrey Craig and Mason Plumlee will wear "Love Us," Paul Millsap will wear "Vote," PJ Dozier will wear "Respect Us" and Noah Vonleh will wear "I Can't Breathe."
Members of the Wizards have shared the various messages that they will wear on the back of their jerseys. Troy Brown and Jerome Robinson have chosen "Black Lives Matter," Shabazz Napier and Anzejs Pasecniks have chosen "Equality," Ian Mahinmi and Moe Wagner have chosen "Vote," Isaac Bonga has chosen "Freedom," Jonathan Williams has chosen "Say Her Name" and Admiral Schofield has chosen "Enough."
Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks - "Equality"
Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo told reporters that he and his brother, Thanasis, will wear "Equality" on the back of their jerseys, along with a number of their Bucks teammates.
"On the back of my jersey is gonna be 'Equality,'" Antetokounmpo said. "That's what we decided, a majority of the team. So that's what me and Thanasis are going to wear on the back of our jersey."
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat - Blank Jersey
Miami's All-Star forward recently shared with reporters that he hopes the NBA allows him to not have anything on the back of his jersey during the restart.
"I have decided not to (wear a message). With that being said, I hope that my last name doesn't go on there as well just because I love and respect all the messages that the league did choose, but, for me, I feel like with no message or with no name, it's going back to who I was and if I wasn't who I was today, I'm no different to anybody else of colour.
"I want that to be my message in the sense that, just because I'm an NBA player, everybody has the same rights no matter what - that's how I feel about my people of colour.
Kyle Korver and Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks - "Black Lives Matter"
Korver, who is in his 17th NBA season, told The Undefeated, "I just think that in this moment in time, this is the message. Anything I would ever hope to convey on the back of a jersey is represented in these three words."
"I think it's the most important thing for people to realize," Middleton told the Associated Press. "That our lives do matter. That's why I went with it."
"It's a great opportunity. It's a unique moment," Korver added. "We're not able to interact with each other very much yet because of the safety protocols in place. But I think everyone is very aware of the opportunity and wants to capitalize on it."
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Toronto Raptors - "Speak Up"
Hollis-Jefferson recently told reporters that he will wear "Speak Up" on his jersey because "I feel like we should all speak up and say something." He joins Norman Powell as the second Raptor to have revealed what he will be wearing on his jersey at the restart.
Alex Caruso, Los Angeles Lakers - "Black Lives Matter"
.@ACFresh21 reveals that he will wear "Black Lives Matter" on the back of his jersey. pic.twitter.com/dqIqH4pXGU- Dunk Bait (@DunkBait) July 14, 2020
"As a white player in the NBA, I feel like showing the support and voicing that. As a figure that a lot of white kids growing up around the country idolize, or (are) fans of, I think it's important for me to show that that's the right thing. That the message is equality, and the message is justice."
Caris LeVert, Brooklyn Nets - "Black Lives Matter"
◾️ @CarisLeVert says he'll wear BLACK LIVES MATTER on his jersey for the restart ◾️ pic.twitter.com/I0yQ9a9vGE- Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) July 13, 2020
According to the Nets official Twitter account, guard Caris LeVert announced that he will be wearing "Black Lives Matter" on his jersey.
Kent Bazemore, Sacramento Kings - "Education Reform"
Along with his former teammate, C.J. McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers, Kings guard Kent Bazemore will wear a jersey message, promoting a reform of the educational construct.
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