The 2019-20 season of the NBA is due to resume at the end of July after being temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And when it does return, there will be a focus on the Black Lives Matter movement.
According to ESPN, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are planning to paint the words “Black Lives Matter” on the sidelines of the courts in all three arena’s that will be used for games.
Chris Paul, the president of the players’ union, also told ESPN that both the league and union are working with players to allow them to wear uniforms that feature personalised messages on the back instead of their surnames.
These messages will allow players to bring attention to social justice causes, police brutality and racial equality.
There has also been speculation that the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) will also display “Black Lives Matter” on the court when it resumes its season.
ESPN also reported that WNBA players are in talks with league officials to wear warm-up shirts with “Say Her Name” printed on them, to bring attention to the women who have been victims of police brutality like Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police in her home in March this year.
Several NBA and WBNA player attended recent Black Lives Matter rallies in the United States, following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minnesota.
Renee Montgomery, of Atlanta Dream, has decided to skip the upcoming WNBA season to focus on promoting social justice issues.
“If I go into the WNBA season, I know I won’t be able to give 100%, and that’s not fair to my coaches and teammates. And I also know that if I did go into the “bubble,” who knows what it’s gonna look like in four months, as far as the movement is concerned?” Montgomery wrote for The Players’ Tribune.
“For me, I just want to make sure that I’m fuelling the movement and being a part of it. Listen, I know it sounds crazy. Even as I’m writing this, I’m like, Did I really just opt out of the 2020 WNBA season? I’m honestly just as shocked as everyone else.”