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LeBron Won’t Wear Social Justice Message on Jersey

LeBron James says his thoughts on social justice can’t be contained on the back of a basketball jersey.

The Los Angeles Lakers superstar won’t wear one of the NBA-approved social justice messages on the back of his jersey when the NBA resumes competition later this month in the Orlando bubble.

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“It was no disrespect to the list that was handed down to all the players,” James said Saturday in a confernece call from Florida. “I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. It’s just something that didn’t seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal.”

As part of the NBA’s recognition of the nationwide invigoration of the social justice movement sparked by the death of George Floyd, NBA players are allowed to choose from a lengthy list of possible messages for their jerseys during the league’s restart. James is among just a few who declined to choose one of the messages, he said.

“I would have loved to have a say-so on what would have went on the back of my jersey,” James said. “I had a couple of things in mind, but I wasn’t part of that process, which is OK. … Everything that I do has a purpose, has a meaning. 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.”

The 35-year-old superstar has a long history of social involvement and advocacy for progressive causes. James speaks frequently of what he feels is a responsibility to campaign for positive social change from his powerful position in sports and pop culture.

“This is the mission I’ve been on for a long time now,” James said. “It’s great that a lot of people’s ears are opening. A lot of people are understanding, a lot of people are recognizing. A lot of people still don’t get it, and a lot of people are still afraid to talk about the racism that goes on in America, especially for our people. … But we have some ears, and we will continue to push the envelope and let everyone know that we are human as well. We don’t want to be just be used for our God-given abilities.”

JaVale McGee, the Lakers’ veteran center, said he will wear “Respect Us” on his jersey in Orlando.

“It’s a blessing to have this platform,” said McGee, whose asthma has him being particularly cautious during the pandemic. “We have way more of a voice playing basketball … Our fans are basketball fans over anything. This is the biggest platform we can speak about social injustices. That’s the best time to talk about it.”

James also said he didn’t consider not playing in the NBA’s restart, believing the league can be a positive force through its visibility and competition. He expressed no concerns for his health inside the bubble.

“I believe the NBA and (Commissioner) Adam Silver, they took all precautionary measure to make sure that we as a league are as safe as we can be,” James said. “Obviously, in anything that you do, there can be things that can happen, so we will cross that line if it happens. But we’re doing everything to make sure everyone stays safe during this pandemic. Adam Silver has given me no reason to not believe him since he took over. I have no concerns. I’m here 100% and in great health.”

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30 comments

  1. Samuel E. Crabtree

    The headline of the article LIES. Its words are “Trump passes law – – -” Trump is the POTUS – a member of the Executive branch of government, NOT the legislative branch.. In the United States only the legislative branch of government can “pass” a law. I suggest that you get someone that understands the Constitution of the United States to “fact check” anything you plan on publishing which may have ANY connection with politics.

  2. LeBron has done enough damage already. Spoiled professional athlete that without basketball would be working at McD’s. That is if they would even hire him.

  3. Statesman Patriot

    Looks like I won’t be watching any NBA games now, just like I haven’t watched NFL for three seasons. Don’t miss it at all!!
    I may even stop watching NASCAR!
    This will give me a lot of time to do more important things like spending time with maybe family and doing constructive things around the house and community.

    • I took my boys to Little League practice when growing up, and i honestly don’t see why people are crazy to watch grown ups kick a ball and paid lots to do so—it’s all kids game so leave it to them . Today’s so-called SPORTS??? I call is BIG BUSINESS!!!!!!!!!

    • ou mean you are still watching Nascar? kiddie cars more like it…We quit watching a long time ago..Enjoy your family..

  4. That’s because he is owned by China/Nike. He is the head asshole in charge. You want to see the future of the NBA. Watch the newest ESPN commercial. These guys are millionaires if you want to turn sports into a political weapon I assure you no one will be watching or buying you stupid jerseys. Bye bye NBA. You won’t be missed at all, the NFL is right behind you.

  5. It’s not like he so high minded, it’s because he doesn’t do anything unless he paid. No supporting Hong Kong because there was no money in it for him, but he supports China, with all its treachery because it affects HIS bottom line

  6. LeBron would wear it if he got paid to wear it. Money is what matters, remember his take on China.

  7. THIS IS MY PROBLEM WITH THE SPORTS INDUSTRY,MUSIC INDUSTRY AND MOVIE INDUSTRY, SOCIAL MEDIA AND TV INDUSTRY, THEY ARE ALL HERE TO ENTERTAIN US. LET ME BE THE FIRST TO SAY, THAT THEIR PO;ITICAL BELIEFS NOT ONLY DO NOT MATTER TO ME, NOR DO THEY ENTERTAIN ME, SO I DON’T CARE WHAT YOUR OPINIONS ARE. SO NEEDLESS TO SAY, HOLLYWOOD ELITES AND SPORTS PEOPLE DO NOT PHASE ME AT ALL. I DO NOT WATCH BASKETBALL OR ANY OTHER SPORT, NOR DO I WATCH TV, OR GO TO MOVIES BECAUSE THEY DO NOT ENTERTAIN ME. IF THEY THINK THAT THE SHIT THEY ARE PUTTING OUT IN MOVIES AND TV ARE ENTERTAINING THESE ARE SOME SICK PEOPLE. SO YOU SEE LEBRON, I JUST DON’T CARE WHAT YOU THINK, OR HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT SOMETHING, SORRY, NOT SORRY!!! YOU HAVE MADE MILLIONS HERE IN OUR COUNTRY, YOU DON’T LIKE IT HERE, THEN GO TO YOUR NEW COUNTRY (CHINA) AND BE HAPPY!!!

    • Couldn’t have expressed it any better. The White population made him rich. Yes, go to China and try to make that kind of money. You won’t have a voice in China or anywhere else other than America. You are pathetic and come off as racist as Al Sharpton.

  8. WILLIAM E Verespie

    I’m proud to be an American. The greatest country in the world. We are not perfect
    but we should all work at it together, not divided. God Bless America.

  9. William E. Verespie

    I’m proud to be an American. The greatest country in the world. We are not perfect
    but we should all work at it together, not divided. God Bless America.

  10. I agree with Marsha above, we gave up on sports, movies, television, social media . We don’t follow any of the social icons especially not Sports figures or Actors and actresses who think they matter, their arrogance precede them , we started in the 70’s boycotting most of this stuff. I’m glad we live in America it’s a great country but the communists and socialists have infiltrated all our systems educational, government, city, state all are infected with being followers and knuckling under to a destructive psychology. They can’t think for themselves no ability’s for deductive or inductive reasoning. This is actually a lack of true education, where more than one thought is considered and the history of our country is being covered up , cancels or changed. Yes we are imperfect but so are they. My wish is that the government would deal with the militant faction if these anti American groups as they are hired thugs.

  11. I do not care if wears it or not. I have already boycotted the NFL and now the NBA. Everyone should boycott both. These monkeys are paid way too much. 10000 times more than their worth. Their pay should be cut for wearing it. Players need to play and take time off the court for their social concerns not while they play. Professional sports is the biggest scam racket there is.

  12. No NFL, NBA or other pro sports until the Defund The Politics. College sports be very careful as well. I am a huge sports fan but an even bigger patriot. My life’s motto is God, Family and Country

  13. Politics do not belong in SPORTS, So GOODBY NFL , NBA and NASCAR.

    • I hope they like playing in empty stadiums because that is whats going to be happening from now on, football, basketball baseball, all of them. The same will probably happen to college sports slso, since the athletes will be fighting to see who gets the most money for the playing instead of getting an education

  14. Professional sports in the US has turned into what Soccer is in Mexico, A propaganda machine. The population is a high enough number that there are plenty of lesser intelligent individuals who will support it. I as a life long fan and white and 55 am done with professional sports and have been for about 5 years.

    • What a joke these over paid pro athletes. I’ve been a sports fan all my life. I will never watch pro basketball, baseball, or football ever again. With out the fans your nothing. How stupid you are. Lebron James says his people. Division is your name. With liberty and justice for all. We’re all god’s children not just your people. You can’t take any of your money with you James. Martin Luther King was a man. That’s how you should be acting like. Done with pro athletes and owners.

  15. Aloha
    I’ve had it with this BULL SHIT with the NFl NBA BULL SHIT
    the STANLEY CUP PLAY OFFS are coming and they can’t come too soon.The best sports action in USA today
    FTNFL&NBA
    GO LEAFS GO

  16. you guys said it all but at least NASCAR honors our flag

  17. No NFL NBA college football maybe base ball

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