The Utah Jazz released full details of the players’ plans to replace their names on jerseys with that of messages of social justice. It isn’t just the star players, or one or two of the Jazz players that will be doing so, but in fact the entire team from top of the roster to bottom will be sporting NBA-approved social justice messages on their jerseys for the remainder of the season being played out in Orlando.
A look at what the roster will wear on their jerseys in order to continue the important conversation of social justice ❤️— utahjazz (@utahjazz) July 27, 2020
» https://t.co/zARhxDMYUn pic.twitter.com/ntvwvtXYbV
Jordan Clarkson — PEACE
Nigel Williams-Goss — JUSTICE NOW
Joe Ingles — ALLY
Justin Wright-Foreman — JUSTICE
Jarrell Brantley — ENOUGH
Rayjon Tucker — JUSTICE
Mike Conley — I AM A MAN
Tony Bradley — PEACE
Emmanuel Mudiay — PEACE
Juwan Morgan — SAY THEIR NAMES
Ed Davis — EDUCATION REFORM
Royce O’Neale — EQUALITY
Rudy Gobert — EQUALITY
Georges Niang — EDUCATION REFORM
Donovan Mitchell — SAY HER NAME
Miye Oni — POWER TO THE PEOPLE
Each player had their own unique reasoning behind choosing their messages, some more personal than others.
“I think [basketball] is a distraction from what’s going on in the world,” All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell said earlier this month. “But when the job calls, you have to go to work. Now it’s on us to go out there and push this message as much as we can.”
Mitchell will wear “Say Her Name” on the back of his jersey in honor of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old black woman who was shot and killed in her own home by Louisville, Kentucky, police in March.
“It should be about Breonna Taylor,” said Mitchell, who played college basketball at Louisville. “Her killers still haven’t been arrested.”
Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson will wear “Peace” on his jersey.
“Everybody is fighting for a peace of a mind, especially with the Black Lives Matter” movement, Clarkson said. “This fight—that black lives matter—at the end of the day is going to cause peace for us all, being able to feel that equality in all areas and aspects of our lives.”
The Jazz’s All-Star center Rudy Gobert, meanwhile, has chosen “Equality” as his message.
“I think equality is a powerful word,” Gobert said. “I want my kids to live in a world where everyone is treated as equal, regardless of the color of their skin, their religion. I think it’s something we have to strive to attain in society.
“Obviously, it’s better than it was 100 years ago but it can be a lot better. We’d be lying to ourselves if we said there was equality today. We have signs every day that that’s not the case. We have to keep pushing in that direction to make sure that one day it is the case.”
As you might expect, since making these posts just a few hours ago, the Utah Jazz social media accounts have received a bit of backlash from some upset fans. Jazz social wasn’t in the mood for that today though.
The @utahjazz are NOT having it today #takenote pic.twitter.com/awWjPvXBnZ— Russell Nam Pham (@russellnampham) July 27, 2020
The Utah Jazz just murdered someone on Instagram. pic.twitter.com/HkOxU4wMif— kristina. (@kristinachelsea) July 27, 2020
However, the majority of Jazz fans on social media seem to be appreciating the efforts the Jazz players are going to to raise awareness for social justice. And whether you like it or not, the Jazz as a team have decided to stand together against racism, hate, and injustice. From the sound of it, this is only the beginning of the players’ plans to continue to raise awareness while continuing the season in Orlando.