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Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler made a gesture of silence before Saturday’s bubble opener against the Denver Nuggets. Instead of wearing a traditional jersey with a name tag, the former Marquette Golden Eagle wore a blank variant.
Butler was eventually asked to change into a jersey with a nametag, but his message was sent. Like other NBA players, he highlighted social injustice in his own way.
-x-Miami Heat (@MiamiHEAT) August 1, 2020
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According to the Miami Herald, all parties involved were aware that Butler was planning to make the statement, including Heat and NBA President Adam Silver.
We have the best leadership in professional sports between [NBA commissioner] Adam Silver and [National Basketball Players Association executive director] Michelle Roberts, Butler’s agent Bernie Lee said before Tuesday’s game between the Heat and Boston Celtics at Disney World Sports Center in Lake Buena Vista told the Miami Herald. We talked a lot about Jimmy’s selection in the weeks leading up to the first seeding game, and the results you see are the result of those conversations.
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It wasn’t what people wanted at the beginning, but the results reflect the times and how well everyone has adapted. I think Jimmy was given a platform and an opportunity to make a statement that was very important and powerful to him
Many players in the bubble choose to have unique messages sewn on the back of their jerseys to highlight social injustice around the world, and that’s exactly what the NBA has done. But Butler, however, wants his jersey to have no name on the back.
Via Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald.
He explained his jersey request in July, saying, “This shirt is going back to the way I was.” . If I wasn’t who I am today, I’d be no different than any other person of color.