"Equality" will be the most popular social justice statement to appear on the back of NBA players' jerseys during the league's restart, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.
"I chose 'equality' because it reminds us that in order to have real impact and change, we need to make a conscious effort to level the playing field and create systems that are not bias based on race, education, economics, or gender," Paul told Spears.
The NBA and players' association recently agreed to a list of personalized social justice messages, which also includes "Black Lives Matter," "Say Their Names," and "I Can't Breathe," among many others.
The jerseys used in each team's opening game will be auctioned off with proceeds going to a player-administered social justice fund to be housed by the NBPA Foundation.
Seventeen players have elected not to add a social justice message to the back of their jerseys.
"It's a small minority. I have always taken the position that you can decide how you want to respond to things any way you want to," Roberts said. "There are people that say, 'I don't think putting a social justice message is enough, so I'm not going to do that.' Or others say, 'That is not how I roll. I'd rather do something more meaningful.' Or some others may say that they just don't want anything on their jersey. And that's the beauty of being an American. You can do anything you want."
Tatum added players will wear "Black Lives Matter" shooting shirts during games. The NBPA plans to provide the athletes with hoodies and T-shirts that will also feature social justice statements.