NBA players are allowed to wear league-approved messages on the back of their jerseys during the Orlando restart. The Dallas Mavericks will wear the same message as a team.
Every Mavericks player will wear “Equality” on the back of his jersey when the team resumes regular season play later this month. Five players–Luka Doncic, J.J. Barea, Kristaps Porzingis, Maxi Kleber and Boban Marjanovic–will have “Equality” written in their native language.
The NBA is allowing players to pick from 29 approved words or phrases to put on the back of their jerseys when the games get underway in the “bubble.” Besides “Equality”, options include “Black Lives Matter”, “Vote”, “Freedom”, “Say Their Names”, “I Can’t Breathe”, and “Ally”, among others.
According to Mavs forward Dwight Powell, the decision to don “Equality” was unanimous.
“I think in the conversations that we had as a team and we’ve had individually, equality is something that we know is mighty important, especially right now with what’s going on,” Powell told Mavs.com in an exclusive interview on Thursday. “For some of the guys to put that in their native language kind of lends to the fact that we’re all part of this conversation regardless of where you come from or your race, creed, religion or whatever it may be.
“There are issues of racial injustice and systemic racism in this country. We have to be part of the conversation and the fight for equality.”
You can read the full interview with Powell on the Mavs’ team site right here.
The Mavericks are not the only team broadcasting a united message during their time in Orlando. The Toronto Raptors are using team buses with the phrase “Black Lives Matter” on them.
Dallas is set to resume the regular season against the Houston Rockets on July 31.