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NBA to paint 'Black Lives Matter' on Disney courts when 2019/20 season restarts

Tuesday 30 June 2020 07:11, UK

The Lakers will meet the Clippers on the opening night of the NBA's restart in July
Image: The Lakers will meet the Clippers on the opening night of the NBA's restart in July

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association plan to paint “Black Lives Matter” on all courts when the season restarts in July.

Earlier this month, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league wanted to use its return as a way to increase awareness and to implement change in society.

The league and the NBPA have discussed methods to promote messages of equality and police reform since the death of George Floyd prompted nationwide and worldwide protests.

The NBA will use three arenas at the Disney site as 22 of the league's 30 teams conclude the regular season from July 30.

A painting of George Floyd stands behind a group of people gathered at a memorial on the block where he was killed by police
Image: As part of its ongoing efforts to address racial inequality, the NBA and the players union have agreed to have “Black Lives Matter” painted on the courts

NBPA president Chris Paul, an Oklahoma City Thunder guard, recently told ESPN that the players have received permission from the league to wear words promoting social justice in place of their names on uniforms.

"We're just trying to continue to shed light on the different social justice issues that guys around our league continue to talk about day in and day out," Paul said.

"People are saying that social justice will be off of everybody's mind in Orlando. With these jerseys, it doesn't go away."

Graphic showing the key dates for the NBA 2019-20 season resumption - credit nba.com
Image: Graphic showing the key dates for the NBA 2019-20 season resumption - credit nba.com

Paul said phrases such as "Black Lives Matter" or "I Can't Breathe" or the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor or Ahmaud Arbery could be seen on jerseys. Taylor and Arbery, who were both unarmed, were also killed in shootings this year.

The WNBA also might follow the NBA's lead and put "Black Lives Matter" on its courts at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, for its 2020 season, according to ESPN.

The report added that WNBA players might wear pre-game shirts with the phrase, "Say Her Name," seeking to keep the focus on Taylor and other women who are victims of alleged police brutality.

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