Anthony Davis Reveals Why He Won't Wear Social Justice Message on Jersey

Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis has joined LeBron James in opting to keep his name on the back of his jersey as opposed to a social justice message when the NBA season resumes in Orlando, Florida, at the end of the month.

In the wake of George Floyd's killing on May 25, several NBA players have been vocal in demanding social changes and calling for an end to racial discrimination.

The league has acknowledged the current circumstances and has given the players the opportunity to wear a social justice message on their jerseys, agreeing with the NBA Players Association on a list of 29 slogans which, according to ESPN, include Black Lives Matter, I Can't Breathe, Power to the People and Anti-Racist.

Players will be allowed to wear a social justice message for the first four days of the resumption. After that, players can still carry a social justice message on the back of their jerseys but their names have to be beneath it.

The back of Davis' jersey, however, will continue to carry his name as usual.

"I think the name Davis is something that I try to represent every time I try to step on the floor, my family," the Lakers stars said during a video conference call with reporters Sunday.

Davis, however, admitted choosing between having his family name or a social justice message had not been an easy choice to make. He added that despite opting to have his name on the jersey, he remained as committed to social justice as ever.

"I didn't know what to decide: Should I have a social justice message or should I have my last name there? I just think my last name is something that is very important to me," he said.

"Also social justice as well. But just holding my family name and representing the name on the back to go through this process and my name and people who've been with me through my entire career to help me get to this point. While still kind of bringing up things that we can do for social injustice.

"Some guys chose to, some guys chose not. We'll have a ton of ways to kind of represent what we stand for."

On Saturday, James explained he had opted to keep his name on the back of his jersey as the messages jointly agreed upon by the NBA and the NBPA did not align with his plans.

"It was no disrespect to the list that was handed out to all the players," the three-time NBA champion explained on a conference call.

"I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. It's just something that didn't really seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal.

"I would have loved to have a say-so on what would have went on the back of my jersey. I had a couple things in mind, but I wasn't part of that process, which is OK.

"I'm absolutely OK with that. [...] I don't need to have something on the back of my jersey for people to understand my mission or know what I'm about and what I'm here to do."

Last week, NBPA executive director Michele Roberts told ESPN's The Undefeated that out of the 350 players involved in the season restart, 285 had opted to have a social justice message on their jerseys.

Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Staples Center on March 3 in Los Angeles, California. Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty