LeBron James, one of the marquee names in the world of American sports, said he rejects the notion of putting social media messages on the back of his jersey.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced in June that players will be allowed to replace their names on the back of their jerseys in favor of social messages of their choices for the 2020 season.
The list of names approved by the NBA and NBA Players Association include, according to ESPN:
- Black Lives Matter;
- Say Their Names;
- I Can’t Breathe;
- Justice; Peace;
- Power to the People;
- Justice Now;
- Say Her Name;
- Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can);
- I Am A Man.
King James, 35, told a cluster of media members that he won’t participate, despite the fact that 285 of the 350 eligible players have picked a social media message, according to The Undefeated.
“I actually didn’t go with a name on the back of my jersey,” James said. “It was no disrespect to the list that was handed out to all the players. I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. It’s just something that didn’t really seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal,” he said.
James, as most know, has taken very vocal stances on instances of police brutality and injustices for many years. He and his former Miami Heat teammates wore hoodies in honor of teen Trayvon Martin who was shot to death by George Zimmerman back in 2012. He also wore an “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirt when Eric Garner was killed by an NYPD chokehold administered by former officer Daniel Pantaleo in 2014. And he also donned a Colin Kaepernick jersey when the former NFL quarterback was exiled from the league for kneeling during the national anthem.
“I would have loved to have a say-so on what would have went on the back of my jersey. I had a couple things in mind, but I wasn’t part of that process, which is OK. I’m absolutely OK with that. … I don’t need to have something on the back of my jersey for people to understand my mission or know what I’m about and what I’m here to do.”
What do you think of James’ stance?