Title: Murphy: Raptors’ disappointment with NBA jersey message restrictions justified
Date: July 16, 2020
Original Source: The Athletic
Synopsis: In my latest for The Athletic Toronto, I wrote about Norman Powell’s frustration with the league limiting jersey messaging, and why he’s right that the league missed an opportunity for a greater statement.
Norman Powell had a message in mind for anyone watching the NBA’s relaunch in Orlando: “Am I next?”
It was his message of choice after the killings at the hands of police of George Floyd and so many others. Instead, he’ll now wear “Black Lives Matter” on the back of his Raptors jersey. Powell said that one is an important message and is the “most radical” of a watered-down list of options afforded by the NBA. Normally fairly reserved about his personal feelings, Powell wanted to make clear Thursday that the restriction of choice is not sitting well with him.
“Ugh, this topic,” Powell began. “I love the topic, I love the question. I’ve been having a lot to say about this. I think I made it clear where my stance is. In regard to the jersey and things, I was really disappointed in the options that were given to us. First and foremost, I feel like with a topic like this — social justice — that we’re fighting for, the fact that we were boxed-in to a list of 28, 29 sayings was really unfortunate. We’ve got a lot of guys in this league that have a voice and have been using their voice through this time and we’re really excited about the whole thing, about being able to change our last names, and put a quote there that represents where we stand, and what we want to say, and how we feel about this. And I was really upset about the whole change and how we’re really limited. I feel the list was really cookie-cutter, and really doesn’t touch the topics of what we’re trying to achieve here.”