Following Jimmy Butler’s lead, 30 players request no name on back of jersey
“If I wasn’t who I was today, I’m no different than anybody else of color.”
That was part of Jimmy Butler’s logic for requesting a blank nameplate on the back of his jersey during the restart in Orlando, as Butler told Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.
The idea of the blank nameplate has not cleared by the NBA “as of now”, reports Tim Reynolds of the AP (the Heat are prepping a “Butler” jersey currently, reports Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinal).
Per sources, it appears as of now that Heat All-Star Jimmy Butler's request to wear no name on the back of his jersey at the NBA restart will not be honored.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) July 19, 2020
The NBA and NBPA struck deals on the messaging, but wearing of a name is part of the uniform player agreement.
However, the request has not yet been shot down by the league — and it’s possible that the volume of requests, more than 30 different players, could change the league’s feeling. The 30 number comes from Goodwill.
The league put together a curated list of social justice messages that players could wear on their jerseys, but the list was not expansive enough for most players, who wanted more. In reaction, the NBPA and Russell Westbrook’s clothing company teamed up for a line of social justice message apparel that is expected to be available soon.
In the meantime, Jimmy Butler and 30+ other NBA players await word on whether their jersey can go nameless during games.