Mavs Owner Mark Cuban Defends Social Justice Messages on NBA Jerseys

Dallas Mavericks co-owner US businessman Mark Cuban arrives for the 2019 NBA Awards at Barker Hangar on June 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by LISA O'CONNOR / AFP) (Photo credit should read LISA O'CONNOR/AFP/Getty Images)

Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban is in support of NBA players wearing social justice meanings on the back of their jerseys.

For those keeping score at home: The NBA reached agreement with its players union on 29 social justice statements that players can optionally have on the back of their jerseys instead of their names.

The NBA will resume play on July 30 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

22 NBA Teams will compete to fill the league’s 16-NBA playoff spots in both the NBA’s Eastern and Western Conferences with the NBA Finals expected to finish no later than October 13.

Cuban’s Mavericks curently sit in seventh place in the NBA’s Western Conference standings with a 40-27 record and will be apart of the reboot.

In our one-on-one interview, Cuban tells me why he likes the move: 

Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Given that certain players are wearing social justice words on the back of their jerseys, how big of a distraction do you think that could be from the NBA’s restart?

Mark Cuban: None. It will be something that people talk about, but once the games start fans are going to be fans and love watching the games and people who are not fans will want to commentate. Players are used to ignoring commentary on social legacy and social media, so I don’t think they are distracted by it at all. Plus, this is such a unique situation, my hope is that the players will become closer and stronger together.

Philadelphia 76ers forward, Mike Scott is not a fan of the move. “They gave us some names and phrases to put on the back of jerseys,” he said recently.

“That was terrible. It was just a bad miss, a bad choice,” Scott said Monday during a conference call with reporters. “They didn’t give players a chance to voice our opinions on it; they just gave us a list to pick from. So that was bad, that was terrible.”

Milwaukee Bucks sharpshooter, Kyle Korver will wear Black Lives Matter on the back of his jersey.

So will Los Angeles Lakers guard, Alex Caruso.

Caruso’s Lakers teammates, Anthony Davis and LeBron James will not wear the specialized jerseys and will continue to wear their last names when the NBA resumes.

“I actually didn’t go with a name on the back of my jersey,” James said via a Lakers Zoom call on July 11 with NBA reporters.

“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.

“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.”

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