Jimmy Butler confirmed he will not wear any pre-approved social justice messages on his jersey when the NBA season resumes at Disney World later in July, though the Miami Heat All-Star is working on a novel alternative.
"I have decided not to," Butler said Tuesday, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell. "With that being said, I hope that my last name doesn't go on there as well.
"Just because I love and respect all the messages that the league did choose, but for me, I felt like with no message, with no name, it's going back to like who I was. And if I wasn't who I was today, I'm no different than anybody else of color and want that to be my message in the sense that just because I'm an NBA player, everybody has the same right no matter what, and that's how I feel about my people of color."
The league has not yet approved Butler's request.
Butler has enjoyed a resurgent campaign for the Heat in 2019-20. After an off year split between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers, he returned to his previous All-Star form, averaging 20.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.7 steals per game.
The Heat ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 41-24 (.631) record and were on pace for their best winning percentage since 2013-14 (.659) when the NBA season went on hiatus in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.