LeBron James is still the best player in NBA, at age 35. From the first day he stepped foot on an NBA court, LeBron has been the most popular, and the most outspoken person in all of sports. Whether you like him, or not, he is the face of the NBA. And as the face of the league, he’s has used his platform to speak up on social issues affecting the world. Putting action behind his words, and being the voice that people look towards in sports. One of his brands, “More than an Athlete”, was actually created when tone death reporter named Laura Ingraham, said he should “Shut up and dribble!” LeBron continues to do everything but that, and even as he enters the NBA bubble, he plans to continue fighting for equality.
With all the social injustice going on in the world, the NBA plans to use its platform to show support towards the “Black Lives Matters” movement. The league restarts July 30th, and one of the things they decided to show support, is allowing players to change the names on the back of their jerseys. Players have the option to change their name on the back of their jersey to a slogan picked by the NBA. The slogans support equality and change for racial injustice. As great as this idea is, the NBA only allows players to choose from a short list of slogans. But not all players agreed or liked the slogans the NBA chose for them. One of those players is LeBron James.
News broke that LeBron was planning to keep his own name on the back of his Lakers jersey. This came as a surprise to people, because he has been so outspoken on social injustice issues. LeBron spoke about his decision, once he arrived in Orlando. “I will continue to do (work) off the floor and when I’m talking to you guys- everything that I do has a purpose, it has a meaning”, James said. “So, 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.”- latimes.com (LeBron James) He continued to say that he respected everyone who decided to go with a slogan on the back of their jersey.
Some people might look at LeBron differently for not going along with the NBA’s ideas, but he’s not entitled to. There are many ways for players and coaches to express their views and support for equality while in the bubble. Having slogans on the back of your jersey is creative, but speaking up about those slogans during interviews is powerful . And LeBron has been doing that for years. Kawhi Leonard spoke up about the topic as well. He said “It doesn’t matter if we have a statement of the back of our jersey, it’s about doing the work.” Actions will always speak louder than words. Remember that.