Lakers guard Dion Waiters announced on Friday’s Zoom call with reporters that he will dawn ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the back of his jersey for the restart of the NBA season in Orlando.
“Everything that’s going on, I feel like it’s a key moment in life right now for us to make a huge impact on and off the court,” Waiters stated. “Just being able to keep letting everyone know what’s at hand and how big it is that just because basketball is back you can’t forget about the most important thing that went on this year.”
Waiters will join Danny Green, JaVale McGee and Devontae Cacok as the latest Lakers player to reveal that he will add an optional social justice message to the back of his jersey. Alex Caruso disclosed earlier this week to Yahoo Sports’ Josiah Johnson that he will add ‘Black Lives Matter’ to his jersey in solidarity with his Black teammates to bring awareness to the inequities in social justice.
— Dunk Bait (@DunkBait) July 14, 2020
“They gave us the list of phrases, names, sayings to put on the back of the jerseys, so I took some time and kind of looked at them,” said Caruso. “I went through the ones that I thought would be important to me and ones that would be impactful for me to wear, and I thought about the people that look up to me: the people that watch me play, and the people that tell me on Instagram and Twitter, and when I see them in random spots in L.A. and back home, that they look up to me and that I’m an inspiration for them because of how I got to where I am and how hard I play and the way I play.
“‘Black Lives Matter’ just seemed to be the thing that just struck a chord with me and I thought would be the most impactful.”
LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope expressed that none of them will be adding a social justice message to their jerseys as they cited wanting to honor their surnames and that their commitment is to continue to bring awareness through action and their platform in alternate ways.
The Lakers will resume basketball with a scrimmage against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, July 23. The NBA season will restart with a game versus the Clippers on July 30.