Report: NBA Players Won't Use Names of Deceased People on Jerseys

Michael Shapiro

NBA players will not use the names of deceased individuals on the back of jerseys when the 2020 season resumes, according to The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears.

Players will be able to replace their last name with statements supporting social justice when play resumes in Orlando on July 30. But those statements will not include "the names of those who have died in police custody or in racially motivated incidents," per Spears. 

"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," Thunder point guard and players' union president Chris Paul told Spears. "People are saying that social justice will be off of everybody's mind in Orlando. With these jerseys, it doesn't go away."

NBA players have been at the forefront of social justice work in the United States during the COVID-19 suspension. Paul and numerous other players participated in rallies and protests following the death of George Floyd, who was killed in police custody on May 25. Floyd was stopped by Minneapolis PD officer Derek Chauvin, who placed his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes before his death. 

Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers have been charged with aiding and abetting murder for their role in Floyd's death. 

Paul praised players throughout the league on Wednesday for their passion and interest on issues of social justice. Players will also be able to support causes and charities not related to social justice in Orlando. 

"I was just thinking about how forward-thinking our league is and how passionate the players in our league are about different issues," Paul told Spears. "Our guys have been marching on the front lines and using their platforms."