Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook may captivate fans with his style of fashion during the NBA season. However, the fashion doesn’t exceed the intended messages to commemorate the legacy of George Floyd who was a victim of an unjust police brutality incident on May 25th of this year. The NBPA announced its partnership with Westbrook’s clothing line Honor the Gift to design social justice T-Shirts for NBA players.
According to senior lead NBA writer Shams Charania of The Athletic, both Charania and Westbrook shared images via twitter on the approved social injustice messages the NBA would allow. Messages such as I can’t breathe, police reform, Am I next and a few others were labeled on black t-shirts which are likely to be worn during warmups before the NBA tip-off.
Late last month, Memphis Grizzlies Ja Morant who is one of the leading candidates for rookie of the year apologized for a tweet that read f*** 12.
“”My post was intended to focus on the bad cops who get away with the murder of unarmed Black men and women, and those who continue to harass peaceful BLACK LIVES MATTER protesters.”
Unlike Morant’s original post, Westbrook’s stance may be viewed as a marginalized opportunity for athletes to express how they truly feel about law enforcement. With such statements made that come off threatening or unprofessional, the likelihood of suffering the consequence may be high since the NBA expects to maintain its reputation. LeBron James also spoke on how he felt the name replacement didn’t resonate with his mission. James who primarily serves as a thriving force on behalf of social justice acts has put his words into actions to combat any injustices that blacks may face in the inner cities. With the success of his I Promise school along with putting kids through college, NBA players like Westbrook may turn it up a notch once the statement on black lives mattering is clear. Since Westbrook’s partnership with the NBPA, there haven’t been any further details on what other social justice messages that may be approved or pending prior to the restart of the NBA season.
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