Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid Won't Wear Message on his Jersey
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid wasn't a fan of the NBA's decision to resume the season this summer. As he's skeptical players won't respect the rules and safety guidelines in place, Embiid rightfully so believes there's a considerable risk of a possible COVID-19 breakout in the Orlando bubble.
Some of Embiid's teammates shared the same sentiment of believing the NBA's return is a bad idea, but for different reasons. As many have been protesting social injustice, racism, and police brutality across America, several Sixers have raised concerns about the return of basketball, becoming a distraction for many.
Therefore, the NBA intends on allowing players to get a social statement stitched on the back of their jerseys, as opposed to donning their last name. Sixers rookie Matisse Thybulle will wear the word "Vote" on the back of his jersey. Joel Embiid, however, has decided not to choose one of the many phrases the NBA has suggested.
On Monday, Embiid mentioned the Sixers' Zoom meetings pertaining to conversations about racism in America has been "great," but it seems Embiid hasn't added too much to the conversation. "I don't ask too much," Embiid said after practice. "I just like to do my job. I'm going to wear my name on the back [of my jersey]."
So far, it seems the Sixers' rookie Matisse Thybulle is the lone player on the team who will push a social message with a uniform adjustment. Recently, Sixers veteran forward Mike Scott criticized the NBA for the list of suggestions, as players were hardly a part of the selection process for phases -- if at all.
And while Al Horford credited the league for the idea, he is in agreement with Scott -- and will perform with his last name on the back of his jersey instead of a statement as well. Now, we can add Embiid to that list of players who will opt-out of pushing a message on their jersey this summer.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_