Los Angeles superstar Davis, a superstar Davis, explained his choice: “On the one hand, I want to support equality, but what does my family name mean.”
“I just kept my last name. It’s a support for all the people who have helped me in my lifetime,” Davis said of Yahoo! “There are a lot of things we can do to support social equality. Some guys chose (the message), some didn’t. We will have a lot of ways to represent what we stand for.”
The Lakers striker is not the only basketball player to decide. Although most league players have chosen one of the 29 approved messages offered by the NBA in an effort to show support for social justice movements, a small percentage of players have chosen not to use league and union approved messages.
Houston Rockets defender Austin Rivers also made a very personal decision.
“I’ll use my last name. I can’t put a name on Tairon,” Rivers said. “I like some of the league’s messages. I’m very happy that several players are using them, but I wanted to go the other way.”
Rivers teammate Tyson Chandler has decided the same.
“I think that would be a strong statement,” Chandler said, wanting Martin’s name on his shirt. “His name on the back of a uniform shirt would remind people that life can be short. We’ll never know what he could become in this life. I think it would have been a nice gesture to wear it on the square and remind people. However, there were no such options, so I will keep my name on my back. “
The NBA and the union decided not to use the names of the victims on the game forms. Part of the reason was to avoid deepening the pain in the families. The approved list contained words or phrases – “Equality”, “How many more”, “Black lives are also important” and “We are voting”.
Miami “Heat” star Jimmy Butler decided not to put his last name or any slogan on his form.
“Without a message and without a last name, it will make me remember the days when no one knew who I was,” Butler said. “I want that to be my message: just because I’m an NBA player doesn’t mean I have a different right than everyone else.”
To focus on social justice, Butler has considered not playing Orlando. However, the leader of the Heat decided to go to the “bubble” because he saw an opportunity to share his story and experience of racism.
“Everyone here is equal,” Butler stressed.
The season promises to resume on July 31 with 22 teams meeting at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.