This story will continue to be updated with the different social justice statements that Lakers players choose for when they resume the 2019-20 season in Orlando.
We now know all of the social justice statements that Lakers players will be choosing to wear for the closing of the 2019-20 regular season in Orlando (Rajon Rondo’s jersey decision still hasn’t been released). The Lakers posted the statements on their Twitter page, with the players’ statements being seen below:
Dion Waiters: “Black Lives Matter”
JaVale McGee: “Respect Us”
Danny Green: “How Many More?”
J.R. Smith: “Justice Now”
Alex Caruso: “Black Lives Matter”
Markieff Morris: “Education Reform”
Quinn Cook: “Say Their Names”
Devontae Cacok: “Justice Now”
Kostas Antetokounmpo: “Peace”
Talen Horton-Tucker: “Black Lives Matter”
(LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kyle Kuzma all opted to keep their last names on their jerseys. All bolded names had previously been reported)
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 24, 2020
Kyle Kuzma (UPDATE 7/22/20):
LeBron James and Anthony Davis decided to keep their last names on their jerseys as opposed to a social justice statement, with Kyle Kuzma announcing to reporters that he will be doing the same. Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll asked Kuzma about whether or not he will be choosing one of the NBA’s approved social justice statements, saying that he won’t choose any of them and will instead keep his last name on the jersey.
I asked Kyle Kuzma if he had chosen a message for the back of his jersey, and he said he's going with his name. He said that he doesn't think that he needs to do that to help out and advocate, and didn't like that they couldn't get creative with their choices.
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) July 22, 2020
Kuzma communicated the same sort of rhetoric that LeBron has said, stating that he doesn’t need to have a statement on his jersey to know about his advocacy. Kuzma has been impactful in many ways for his hometown community of Flint, Michigan. Kuzma also stated that he didn’t like that the choices were controlled by the NBA, a complaint that many NBA players have expressed.
Dion Waiters talked to reporters today, revealing that he plans to wear “Black Lives Matter” on his jersey just as Alex Caruso announced he would do as well. Lauren Jones of The LA Sentinel reported Dion’s words about the decision:
“It’s a huge moment right now to make an impact on and off the court. Just because basketball is back, we can’t forget about the most important thing that went on this year.”
Alex Caruso is the latest Lakers player to announce the social justice statement that he will be wearing on his jersey, deciding to wear “Black Lives Matter” to bring more awareness to the movement. He appeared on Dunk Bait presented by Yahoo Sports to reveal the decision.
“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.”
— Dunk Bait (@DunkBait) July 14, 2020
Alex Caruso follows in Kyle Korver’s steps in being white and choosing “Black Lives Matter”, both being supportive allies to their fellow Black athletes.
Two-way player Devontae Cacok has reportedly decided on the social justice statement that he will wear on the back of his jersey, telling Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll that he chose “Justice Now”. Cacok added the following from Silver Screen and Roll’s story:
“To be honest it was between that and ‘How Many More,’ and if I could, I would have picked both,” Cacok said in a text message. “But I chose justice now because I feel like there is so much that hasn’t been done for so many people. There hasn’t been justice for a lot of people and it’s sad and wrong.”
LeBron James and Anthony Davis:
After LeBron James announced yesterday that he would be opting to wear his name on his jersey as opposed to a social justice statement, the Lakers’ other superstar has now announced that he will be doing the same. Anthony Davis, as reported by Chris Haynes/Yahoo Sports, will be wearing “Davis” on the back of his jersey as opposed to a social justice statement. It’s unknown at this time whether or not that Davis has the same reasoning as LeBron in regards to why he didn’t choose a statement.
Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis will wear his last name on the back of his jersey, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 12, 2020
We’ll update this story whenever Davis comments on the jersey choice.
The Lakers will begin practice today for the first time in four months. With the season resumption rapidly approaching, more and more players are revealing what social justice statements they will choose to wear on their jerseys over the next three months of play. Danny Green has already announced his, deciding on “How Many More?” with JaVale McGee now announcing his, wearing “Respect Us” on his Lakers jersey. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported the following and has also reported basically every NBA player’s social justice statement so far.
Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee will wear “Respect Us” on the back of his jersey as his social justice statement, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 11, 2020
ORIGINAL STORY (Danny Green):
As the NBA was formulating its plan to resume the 2019-20 season in Orlando, a sizable portion of NBA players wondered if the NBA should return in the midst of a strong civil rights movement centered around the systemic racism against Black people. This was one of the topics of a highly publicized conference call led by Kyrie Irving, a call that included statements from Lakers players Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard. That call led to the NBA’s decision to allow players to use social justice statements on the back of their jerseys.
The NBA approved of 29 different statements that players could wear, with some reports coming out now about some of the statements that players have chosen. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports has reported most of these, and has reported the first Lakers player to decide on the statement that he will be using. That player is Danny Green, who will be displaying “How Many More?” on the back of his jersey.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green: “How Many More?”
Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon: “Freedom.” https://t.co/p3fFuz7DqK
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 8, 2020
“How Many More?” references the question of how many more Black people will have to be murdered by police before some real change and accountability is enacted in America. The statement is definitely a grim, yet powerful way to bring awareness to the civil rights movement that is going on in America today.
You can see different other players’ chosen statements above, with others choosing “Freedom”. Other statements chosen so far have been “Equality”, “Education Reform”, “Vote”, and “Enough”. All are related to the same movement, with “Enough” being very similar to the idea of “How Many More?”.
We will be sure to update our website on any other social justice statements chosen by Lakers players as they are reported.