The Lakers have some differing thoughts on the issue of whether or not to put social justice messages on the backs of their jerseys.
On the one hand, there are players like JaVale McGee and Danny Green, who both chose to raise awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement by replacing their last names on the backs of their jerseys with the league-approved terms “Respect Us” and “How Many More?”, respectively.
LeBron James feels differently, saying that he wasn’t consulted on the list of options the NBA chose, and that while he respected players who decided to use them, they did not resonate with him and he would rather raise awareness in other ways.
For James’ fellow star Anthony Davis, the decision to not replace his last name was even simpler.
“I think, just for me, the name Davis is just something that I try to represent every time I step on the floor: My family,” Davis told reporters during a Zoom call on Sunday. “I was kind of torn between the two. I didn’t know what to decide. Should I go with a social justice message, or should I go with my last name?”
Davis ultimately decided on the latter.
“I just think my last name is very important to me — also social justice as well — but just holding my family name and representing the name on my back,” Davis said. “They helped me get to this point.”
Davis also felt that it was important for him “to go through this process in a name of people who have built me through my entire career... while still figuring out things we can (do) for social justice.”
It’s not immediately clear what Davis will do instead on the social justice front, but he had previously said that he felt that NBA players as a collective would be able to put their heads together and figure out more ways they could demonstrate or advocate with greater effectiveness once they were all in one place in Orlando.
“We’ll have a ton of ways to represent what we stand for,” Davis said.
Davis will just do so with his own name on his back, carrying his family with him the whole way.