Jimmy Butler has decided not to put a special name or phrase on the back of his jersey when the NBA resumes its 2019-20 season, and he won’t be the only player doing so, either.
“I have decided not to (put a phrase on his jersey),” the Miami Heat star said, via ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “With that being said, I hope that my last name doesn’t go on there as well.”
Every active Heat player (except for Butler) has decided to display some sort of message on their respective jerseys when play officially resumes, according to Miami’s official Twitter account. Most players have opted for “Black Lives Matter” while others have opted for phrases like “Equality,” “I Can’t Breathe,” “Love Us” and “Si Se Puede” among others. But some, like Boston Celtics swingman Jaylen Brown, have yet to decide what to put on their jersey, if anything at all.
In cases like Butler’s, however, the goal is to appear “no different than anybody else of color.”
“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,” Butler said. “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 NBA resumes play next Thursday.