76ers' Al Horford Won't Make Jersey Adjustments in Orlando

Justin Grasso

As the NBA worked on a return to action during the hiatus over the last couple of months, many players grew concerned for multiple reasons. The first issue was the simple fact the COVID-19 pandemic is still not over up until this point. The second concern regarded the idea that the return of basketball could outshine the crucial fight against social injustice, police brutality, and racism in America.

In an attempt to find ways to keep the conversation regarding social injustice going, the NBA compiled a list of phrases for players to wear on the back of their jerseys during the NBA's restart in Orlando if they choose to replace their last name with a statement. Philadelphia 76ers rookie Matisse Thybulle will be involved. The veteran big man Al Horford, however, will not. 

"I'm not going to have one," Horford mentioned on Sunday morning to the media following his second practice. "I've gone back and forth on it, but I'm not going to have a phrase [on my jersey]." While Horford thought the NBA's idea to allow players to add a phrase on the back of their jerseys was "ultimately" a good idea, the Sixers' veteran also believes his teammate Mike Scott had a valid point.

"I kind of understand and share Mike Scott's sentiment a little bit," Horford revealed. "Even though this is a great platform for us to promote things, I think maybe having the ability to say what you would wanna say or leave it like that. At the end of the day, everyone makes their own decision -- whatever they feel is what's right -- whatever they want to do."

This past week, Mike Scott blasted the NBA for the list of phrases they made available to players by calling it "terrible." While Scott made it clear he's more about doing than talking about making a change -- he also believes the NBA's decision to compile a list of phrases together without consulting players was a "bad miss."

Still, other players around the NBA have decided to take up the league on their offer to switch the last name on their jersey to a social statement. Sixers center Al Horford clearly supports anybody's decision to do what they want in terms of getting their message out there -- but the veteran will look for alternative ways to spread his message.

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_