It seems these days everyone has to get into the political game.  The NFL, NBA, and MLB have been inching closer and closer to becoming political groups first and second a professional sports league.

I wish we could just go back to the days of being able to watch professional sports as a way to get away from the politics and problems of the day.  The professional sports leagues and sports broadcasting companies like ESPN have taken that away from us.

The NBA has jump full force into the politics of the day with their social justice statements the players are allowed to wear on their jerseys for the first 4 games.  ESPN has reported that as of last Wednesday 285 of the expected 350 eligible NBA players have picked a social justice message to put on their jerseys.  Only 17 have opted to continue to use their names.

The list of the suggested messages that the NBA agreed to 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
  • Mentor

National Basketball Players' Association executive director Michele Roberts told ESPN:

The players have taken this seriously with what they're going to put on their jerseys, understanding that they were going to have a platform giving a message to a wide variety of people...Given the large number of guys that are participating, I think these men appreciate that this is a chance to do exactly what they wanted to do. Keep the conversation going

She went on to say:

The guys are excited to get back to the game. Hopefully, we can work to have some great basketball and give some great messages

Sure it sounds like they are really excited to mix their sport with politics rather them wanting to play a game that has made them wealthier than they ever dreamed.

How about you play your sport when on the court or field and get involved with politics on your time and off the court or field.  How many of us can bring politics into our work and not eventually get called into Human Resources and/or be fired?

I have a statement these NBA players can put on the back of their jerseys how about:

“Paid By China”

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