The NBA players association announced their partnership with Russell Westbrook’s clothing line to design t-shirts promoting social justice. The league agreed upon several messages for players to wear on the back of their jerseys for the season reboot. Several players, like Clippers forward Mike Scott, were not happy with the selection. The partnership with Westbrook will give players the opportunity to share more personalized messages.
Sources: The NBPA is partnering with Russell Westbrook’s clothing line to design social justice shirts for all NBA players to incorporate some messages that were not approved for jerseys.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 19, 2020
Many NBA players were not enthused with the “corporate-approved” optic of the allowed social justice messages. Numerous players expressed the sentiment that the messages were limiting. A number of messages that were not explicit in any way were deliberately denied. Phrases like “police reform”, for instance. There is still no way we see “f*ck 12” on the back of a jersey but this is a win for the players.
I must say, this was a genius way for Westbrook and the players union to circumvent NBA regulations. Russell Westbrook is by no means a casual dresser. Therefore, there is a strong chance the clothing designs are more than just t-shirts. However, Westbrook isn’t much of a suit guy. I expect to see jackets, hoodies, and maybe even hats. Whatever the end result is, you best believe it will be a fashion statement. Above all, players will be able to support a good cause in a way that allows them to be unique. Systemic Racism, Police Reform, I Can’t Breathe, No Justice No Peace, Break the Cycle, Strange Fruit, By Any Means, Power to the People, Equality, Am I Next?, are some of the new messages that have been reported.
Ultimately, this is still a business venture by the NBA players association. It’s a positive outcome for the players, nonetheless. Westbrook is currently quarantined in Houston after testing positive for the coronavirus. However, he expects to join the Rockets in Orlando soon. The clothing deal was a great move by Westbrook. Several players have already reached out to him showing their appreciation. I hope Westbrook gets healthy and passes the NBA health protocols soon. I look forward to watching him play again and getting to see his new swag.
NBA play kicks off again on Thursday, July 30 with the Jazz vs. the Pelicans.