Anthony Davis will keep his last name on the back of his jersey this season, the big man has officially confirmed. The Brow will be one of the few NBA players who has chosen to forgo a social justice message on the back of his jersey when the season resumes in Orlando later this month.
Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported the news on Twitter Sunday afternoon. Davis met with reporters via Zoom later that afternoon and discussed his decision, saying “my last name is something I try to represent every time I step on the floor.”
Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis will wear his last name on the back of his jersey, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 12, 2020
Anthony Davis confirms he's going without a social justice message on his jersey: "I was kind of torn between the two. I just think my last name is something that's very important to me. The name Davis is something I try to represent every time I step on the floor."
— Greg Beacham (@gregbeacham) July 12, 2020
Anthony Davis on not changing his name on his Lakers jersey for social justice: “The name Davis is something I try to represent every time I’m on the floor. I was torn between change it or not, but I decided to keep it. There are many other ways we can send our mesage” #NBA
— Davide Chinellato (@dchinellato) July 12, 2020
Two days earlier, the Brow’s teammate LeBron James also confirmed he’d be leaving his own last name on his jersey.
“It was no disrespect to the list that was handed out to all the players. I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. It’s just something that didn’t really seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal,” James said, according to ESPN. “I would have loved to have a say-so on what would have went on the back of my jersey. I had a couple things in mind, but I wasn’t part of that process, which is OK… I don’t need to have something on the back of my jersey for people to understand my mission or know what I’m about and what I’m here to do.”
The list of the suggested messages that were agreed on by the NBPA and the NBA and then made available to players via email, according to ESPN, are: Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; I Can’t Breathe; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can); Liberation; See Us; Hear Us; Respect Us; Love Us; Listen; Listen to Us; Stand Up; Ally; Anti-Racist; I Am A Man; Speak Up; How Many More; Group Economics; Education Reform; and Mentor.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 285 of the expected 350 eligible NBA players had picked a social justice message to put on their jerseys, while 17 had opted to continue to use their names instead, National Basketball Players’ Association executive director Michele Roberts told ESPN’s The Undefeated earlier this week.
Former Cat De’Aaron Fox has chosen “Anti-Racist” for his jersey. News will likely continue to come out regarding what each player has chosen for the back his own jersey, but NBA fans will be able to officially see the new jerseys in action on the first day of the league’s restart, which is currently slated for July 30.