Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant get a little bit ahead of himself after learning that the NBA will allow players to customize the back of their jerseys when the league resumes play next month. Players will have the opportunity to replace the names on their jerseys with a message in support of social justice.
Shortly after the news surfaced, Morant shared a photoshopped image on social media that showed the back of his jersey reading “F*CK 12″ — an anti-police message.
While Morant’s comment was in jest, he received some backlash and later apologized for the image and shared a more detailed statement about what was going through his mind when he shared the photo.
“I want to first apologize for reposting something that didn’t clearly and accurately convey what I wanted to share. My post was intended to focus on the bad cops who get away with the murder of unarmed Black men and women, and those who continue to harass peaceful BLACK LIVES MATTER protestors,” Morant wrote in a statement on social media.
“I know there are good cops ‘12’ out there. I know some, and a few are family. I am thankful to the cops at Murray State who took care of me, and the cops who continue to watch over me with the Grizzlies. We NEED good cops to step up and make sue other cops are not abusing their power. There have been too many Black lives taken by police that could have been prevented. You may see me as just a basketball player and I may lose fans for taking a stand, but I won’t stay silent.
“BLACK LIVES MATTER!! Where’s the justice for Breonna Taylor?? And the other countless innocent Black lives that have been taken at the hands of dirty cops with no convictions?”
The NBA and its players are heading to Orlando, Florida early in July to set up in their “bubble” that will be used to resume the 2019-20 regular season and ultimately crown a league champion. Games will be played on three different courts at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.
The league will be playing a 22-team format that will include 8 regular-season games and the postseason. The 8 games would be played in order to determine the playoff seeding. Games are scheduled to take place from July 31 through October 12.