After the NBA announced it would let players replace the name on the back of their jerseys with messages promoting social justice, Jimmy Butler had his own idea.
The Miami Heat wing hoped to leave the space across his shoulder blades blank, symbolizing that despite being a professional athlete, he’s the same as any other person of color.
With this, Butler started a trend, with more than 30 other players across the league, including Boston Celtics wing Jaylen Brown, requesting to do the same. The NBA, however, has denied these requests.
Butler, however, isn’t giving up.
“I asked Jimmy Butler how he felt when the gesture was rejected,” Butler said, per Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks. “He said he hopes they come back and see the message and ‘let me speak on something the way I want to speak on it.’ Says he will keep pressing for it.”
If the league doesn’t allow him to follow through with the idea, Rooks says Butler is unsure of what he’ll do instead.
I asked Jimmy Butler how he felt when the gesture was rejected. He said he hopes they come back and see the message and ?let me speak on something the way I want to speak on it?
Says he will keep pressing for it.
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) July 21, 2020
The NBA and NBPA approved 29 different messages for players to choose from, but some players are disappointed by the limitations.
We’ll see how it all plays out.