Austin Rivers Hopes to Honor Trayvon Martin With Jersey in Orlando
Rockets guard Austin Rivers said on Monday he would like to honor Trayvon Martin by putting "Trayvon" on the back of his jersey as the Rockets finish the 2019-20 season in Orlando.
The NBA announced on June 28 that players will be able to replace their last name on their jersey with a message supporting social justice. A list of approved phrases was released on July 3, but Rivers and other players say the list is too limited.
"I appreciate the NBA giving us an opportunity to change our last names on our jerseys. Small things like this can matter and go a long way," Rivers wrote on Instagram on Monday. "But the options are really limited. I'm from Orlando, Fla., 25 minutes away from where Trayvon Martin was innocently shot and murdered. To this day that anger and pain from that senseless hate crime still resonates in our country. But especially here in Orlando."
"Would love to honor him and his family and help keep his name alive and strong. I want Trayvon on my back as I head to go lace 'em up in Orlando. Would mean a little something to all the people down there, especially his family and friends. He's gone but not forgotten. All little things matter in this fight for BLM."
Martin was killed at the age of 17 in Sanford, Fla. in Feb. 2012. He was stopped in a neighborhood by 28-year-old George Zimmerman before the two engaged in a physical altercation. Martin, who was unarmed, was then shot and killed.
Zimmerman was charged with murder, but he was ultimately acquitted by trial.
Rivers is in his eighth NBA season and his second with the Rockets. He is averaging 8.5 points and 23.4 minutes per game, shooting 35.8% from three.