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LeBron James forgoes wearing social justice message on jersey

NBA superstar LeBron James said Saturday he would opt out of wearing a social justice message on the back of his jersey because it doesn't "resonate with his mission."

LeBron James forgoes wearing social justice message on jersey
In this file photo taken on February 23, 2020 LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers stands on the court during the game against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NBA superstar LeBron James said on July 11, 2020 that he would opt out of wearing a social justice message on the back of his jersey because it doesn't "resonate with his mission." AFP
James, who has often spoken out against racism and police brutality in America, is passing on the NBA's plan to help bring attention to racial inequality by having players wear messages like "I Can't Breathe" instead of their family names.

"I didn't go with a name on the back of my jersey," the Los Angeles Lakers forward James said Saturday. "It was no disrespect to the list that was handed down to all the players. .... Just something that didn't seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal."

James says he wishes he had had some input into the jersey change.

"I would have loved to have a say on what would have went on the back of the jersey, but I'm OK with that. ... I don't need to have something on the back of the jersey for people to understand my mission and what I'm about."

The vast majority of NBA players have decided to pick a social justice message when play resumes in Orlando, Florida. 

James is one of just 17 players out of 285 who so far have opted to continue using their family names on the back of their uniforms. 

The list of suggested messages, agreed on by the players union and NBA owners and then made available to players, include "I Can't Breathe," which is what George Floyd said more than 20 times before he died with a white police officer kneeling on his neck.

Other messages include: Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can); Liberation; See Us; Hear Us; Respect Us; Love Us; Listen; Listen to Us; Stand Up; Ally; Anti-Racist; I Am A Man; Speak Up; How Many More; Group Economics; Education Reform; and Mentor.

Topics: LeBron James , social justice , "I Can't Breathe" , George Floyd
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