The National Basketball Association recently announced a list of “approved messages” that its players will be allowed to brandish on their jerseys when the season resumes later in July. The league and its player’s union agreed on 29 words and phrases the players can choose to display in magnificently virtue-signaling fashion above their jersey numbers where their name would normally be located. If a non-woke or racist player chooses not to advertise for the Black Lives Matter Movement, their name will be displayed as per usual. Although in scarlet letters. Just kidding. These social-justice-warring tropes will be featured for the first four nights of the restarted season, after which a player can choose whether to replace the admonition with his name or continue to display the trite tags and have his name placed below his number.
This will be a particularly difficult decision for many, as it will pit the player’s immense ego against his desire to appear woke, hip, caring, courageous and, frankly, better than you. In other words, it will pit his ego against…his ego.
Speaking of egos, NBA Commissioner Adam “Hi, Ho’” Silver recently stated: "The league and the players are uniquely positioned to have a direct impact on combating systemic racism in our country, and we are committed to collective action to build a more equal and just society.” Really? Are Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook going to give some of their salary to white players? Silver added, “A shared goal of our season restart will be to use our platform in Orlando to bring attention to these important issues of social justice." The league will also paint “Black Lives Matter” on its arena’s hardwood playing floors when the season resumes on July 30th.
Here is the list of NBA-approved words and phrases: Black Lives Matter, Say Their Names, Vote, I Can’t Breathe, Justice, Peace, Equality, Freedom, Enough (I couldn’t agree more at this point), Power to the People, Justice Now, Say Her Name (huh?), Si Se Puede (which apparently means ‘Yes We Can’), Liberation, See Us, Hear Us, Respect Us, Love Us, Listen, Listen to Us, Stand Up, Ally, Anti-Racist, I Am A Man, Speak Up, How Many More, Group Economics (huh?), Education Reform, and Mentor.
First off, no real man wears apparel stating, “I Am A Man.” Secondly, all of these words and phrases actually translate into, “I am a shameless virtue-signaler.” If an NBA player wanted to be “a man,” be courageous and independent, he would choose to sport phrases like “Save the Babies,” or “Resist the Chinese Communist Party,” or even “I Admit It, We All Travel.” But, no. “See Us,” “Hear Us,” “Respect Us,” “Love Us,” “Listen,” “Listen To Us?” Really?
Why not “Stroke Us,” “Worship Us,” “Obey,” or “Obey Us.?” Maybe “Tolerance,” “Rap Music Rules,” or “Marxism Now?” Perhaps “Che Guevara Lives,” “Trump Sucks,” or “White Players Can’t Jump?”
It won’t happen, but the NBA should be on the receiving end of an “approved message” from Americans who value freedom and disdain hypocrisy: “Take Your Sport And Shove It, We Won’t Watch It Anymore!”