Anthony Davis says he will keep his last name stitched on the back of his jersey for the NBA restart in Orlando, Florida, rather than replace it with a social justice message.
“I think the name Davis is something that I try to represent every time I try to step on the floor, my family,” he said during a video conference call with reporters Sunday.
The Los Angeles Lakers star’s teammate LeBron James revealed over the weekend that he would do the same, in part, because the 29 approved messages, decided upon jointly by the NBA and National Basketball Players Association, were “something that didn’t really seriously resonate with my mission.”
Davis admitted he was “torn” between going with his last name or one of the messages instead.
“I didn’t know what to decide: Should I have a social justice message or should I have my last name there? I just think my last name is something that is very important to me,” he said. “Also social justice as well. But just holding my family name and representing the name on the back to go through this process and my name and people who’ve been with me through my entire career to help me get to this point. While still kind of bringing up things that we can do for social injustice.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, 285 of the expected 350 eligible NBA players had picked a social justice message to put on their jerseys, while 17 had opted to continue to use their names, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told ESPN’s The Undefeated.
The suggested messages that were agreed on by the NBPA and the NBA and then made available to players via email, per a source, are: 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; Sí Se Puede (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.
“Some guys chose to, some guys chose not,” Davis said. “We’ll have a ton of ways to kind of represent what we stand for.”