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Players’ union partners with Russell Westbrook clothing company for social justice message line

Russell Westbrook

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 02: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets in action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 02, 2020 in New York City. The Knicks defeated the Rockets 125-123. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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NBA players were not thrilled with the “corporate-approved” feel of the allowed social justice messages they could put on the back of their jerseys during the restart in Orlando.

The National Basketball Players Association is partnering with Russell Westbrook and his clothing line to make sure players have clothes with the message they want. Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the story.

Multiple players had said the messages on the NBA’s approved list were limiting. Some wanted the names of victims of police violence on their jerseys, but beyond that were the phrases such as “police reform” and “Am I next?” that the league did not allow.

Smart move by Westbrook and the union to sidestep the league.

Don’t be surprised if and when these shirts, jackets, hoodies, and whatever other articles of clothing with the phrases on them start showing up in players’ social media from the bubble.

The Rockets’ Westbrook is not yet in Orlando, he is still in quarantine in Houston after testing positive for the coronavirus. He is expected to join his teammates soon.