Is the NBA jersey gesture missing the point by disallowing victim names?

The NBA narrowed a list of acceptable messages and names players could use on the backs of their jerseys but eliminated the option to use names of victims.

In this Dec. 9, 2014, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers' Carlos Boozer, is wearing a T-shirt reading ""I Can't Breathe" stands before team introductions for an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Los Angeles. Eric Garner uttered those words six years ago, locked in a police chokehold. A few weeks ago, George Floyd uttered the exact same words, while handcuffed and pinned at the neck under the knee of a white police officer, galvanizing the movement anew and prompting mass protests around the country.   -  AP

Philadelphia 76ers forward Mike Scott said the NBA plan to allow for respectful messaging on the backs of jerseys resulted in a "bad miss."

The NBA narrowed a list of acceptable messages and names players could use on the backs of their jerseys but eliminated some phrases and the option to use names of victims. The league said the move came out of respect to the families of the deceased.

"They gave us some names and phrases to put on the back of jerseys. That was terrible. It was just a bad miss, a bad choice," Scott said Monday. "They didn't give players a chance to voice our opinions on it; they just gave us a list to pick from. So that was bad, that was terrible.

"I'm all about just doing, instead of saying and posting, or putting something on the back of your jersey. I don't think that's going to stop anything, you know?"

READ: Bucks, Kings close practice facilities after positive COVID-19 tests

ESPN reported Friday that the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association had agreed to the following list of 29 suggested messages: Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; I Can't Breathe; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; (Yes We Can); Liberation; See Us; Hear Us; Respect Us; Love Us; Listen; Listen to Us; Stand Up; Ally; Anti-Racist; I Am A Man; Speak Up; How Many More; Group Economics; Education Reform; and Mentor.

NBA players are scheduled to begin arriving at the Walt Disney World Resort on Tuesday and the league set July 30 as the official restart date of the 2019-20 season delayed by the coronavirus. Play was suspended March 11.

"You're trying to change your mentality from what's going on and being with your family and making sure you're safe -- racism, (the coronavirus) -- and then turning and switching on to go to Orlando and play basketball. Easier said than done," Scott said. "Most people would probably be like, 'This s--- should be easy. Just think about basketball.'

"But I don't know, man, it's tough thinking about that after what's gone on these past couple months. I've been dealing with that and just trying to work out every day and get my mind ready for Orlando, but at the same time, how can you not focus on everything else going on?"

Players who choose to opt out of the NBA season can do so without repercussions, but the league set a deadline of July 1 to inform teams of that decision.

Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo and Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza are among the players who have opted out. Oladipo said he feared re-injury after missing parts of two seasons with a ruptured quadriceps tendon. Ariza committed to extended visitation rights with his son.

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