The Boston Celtics will wear special messages on the back of their jerseys where their names typically are located as part of an NBA initiative as the league resumes play in Orlando. This is just one of several ways the NBA is showing its commitment to social justice. The words “Black Lives Matter” will also be on the court during games when play resumes at Disney.
Several of the Celtics players have been outspoken in their support for Black Lives Matter and have joined people all over the country who are voicing their displeasure with racial inequality. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is against the notion that NBA players should “stick to sports.”
“Nobody should stick to just what they do for a living,” Stevens explained, per Celtics.com. “It’s not just athletes. We all have a responsibility in this. We all should be talking and listening and we all should be learning. This is a bigger part of who we are than what we do.”
Boston Globe’s Nicole Yang reported that all 17 Celtics players will wear messages on their jerseys and provided a detailed list of each player’s choice. Jayson Tatum will wear “Black Lives Matter,” Jaylen Brown opted for “Liberation” and Kemba Walker’s jersey will say “Love Us.”
Jaylen Brown on the NBA Restart: Celtics Star Wants to ‘Play for Something Bigger Than Myself’
Brown has been one of the most vocal NBA players as protests went on across the country. According to NBA.com, Brown drove 15 hours to be part of a peaceful protest in Atlanta. Prior to his arrival at Disney, Brown admitted he wrestled with the idea of playing in Orlando.
“For me, I can speak for myself better than anybody, I want to make that clear: I didn’t want to go to Orlando,” Brown noted, per ESPN. “Like, I had apprehensions not just because of social justice, but COVID-related, and had some family issues, as well. But, once I thought about the opportunity that the organization and the NBA presented to play for something bigger than myself, I would have signed up right away. I plan on using my voice when I’m down there. I plan on inspiring and spreading light on things that are getting dimmed, and hopefully the NBA and our organization can understand.”
We have seen other NBA players like Marcus Smart use their media sessions to discuss the death of Breonna Taylor. The Celtics remain committed to continuing these efforts as the NBA season restarts.
Here is a rundown of the player’s jersey messages, per the Boston Globe.
List of Celtics Players’ Jersey Messages
|Carsen Edwards||Love Us|
|Gordon Hayward||Education Reform|
|Semi Ojeleye||Love Us|
|Jayson Tatum||Black Lives Matter|
|Daniel Theis||Black Lives Matter|
|Kemba Walker||Love Us|
|Tremont Waters||Stand Up|
|Robert Williams||Respect Us|