LeBron James says he will not have social justice message on jersey: NBA options “didn’t resonate with my mission”

LeBron James
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 23: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on January 23, 2020 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

As the NBA gears up to resume the season, one concern has been the league becoming a distraction from social justice issues, namely the Black Lives Matter movement, which several players have been at the center of. One solution the NBA came up with to diminish those concerns was to allow players to wear jerseys with social justice terms and messages in place of their names.

Lakers players Danny Green and JaVale McGee have been reported to take advantage of this new policy but on Saturday, LeBron James told the media that he would not take part in that and would continue wearing his own name on his jersey.

Here’s James in his own words:

No one can fault James who has been one of the most outspoken athletes on social issues and has been a huge advocate for BLM and other Black Rights movements. And while James took a political approach in explaining his decision, there is a valid criticism to be had for the league selecting a handful of pre-approved messages rather than allowing their majority Black players to express themselves more personally.

At the end of the day, names on jerseys are not what these players and people on the streets are fighting for. There is a lot of good that this sort of exposure can lead to but it’s actual actions that James and plenty of other NBA players have taken to support their communities that should be the focus of their involvement in fighting for social justice.

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