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How Rockets’ Russell Westbrook saved the day for the NBA

By Anthony Duckett
Houston Rockets Russell Westbrook (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Russell Westbrook (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets superstar Russell Westbrook saved the day for the NBA.

As the NBA headed towards a restart, many of the players were at a crossroads of whether to join the resumption of the season or not. America faced a heightened period of social injustice, as police brutality and racial injustice has ran rampant across the nation. Houston Rockets forward Thabo Sefolosha expressed how George Floyd’s death, which was caused by police, affected him personally.

The league decided to allow the players to wear personalized messages on the back of their jerseys, to allow them to use their platform to continue to voice the need for change. But the initial messages were limited in the eyes of many, which was pointed out by Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James.

LeBron said he wasn't consulted on the approved messages and won't be adding one to the back of his jersey.

"I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. … I would have loved to have a say so on what would have went on the back of my jersey."

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 11, 2020

How Rockets’ Russell Westbrook saved the day for the NBA

Many of the Houston Rockets players expressed the same opinion, as they felt the options were too limited for what they wanted to represent. On Sunday the NBA reached a solution, as Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook became the ultimate savior.

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

Shams Charania of The Athletic later tweeted that the options for the shirts will now include the following:

  • 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

The jersey options 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.

Westbrook has consistently proven to be a voice for social issues, as he joined protesters in Compton to show his support for the Black Lives Matter movement. The Houston Rockets superstar also penned a letter to the state of Oklahoma in attempts to free Julius Jones, who is believed to be wrongly incarcerated of first-degree murder and currently sits on death row.

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Kudos to Westbrook for saving the day for the NBA and for using his clothing line to allow the players to have additional options of how to use their platform to express police brutality!