Philadelphia 76ers forward Mike Scott said Monday he's unhappy with the NBA's decision to make a preapproval list of social justice words and phrases players can put on their jersey when the 2019-20 season resumes July 30.
"They gave us some names and phrases to put on the back of jerseys. That was terrible. It was just a bad miss, a bad choice," Scott told reporters. "They didn't give players a chance to voice our opinions on it; they just gave us a list to pick from. So that was bad, that was terrible. I'm all about just doing, instead of saying and posting, or putting something on the back of your jersey. I don't think that's going to stop anything, you know?"
Marc J. Spears of ESPN's The Undefeated provided the initial list of options agreed on by the league and the NBA Players Association on Friday:
"Black Lives Matter; Say Their Names; Vote; I Can't Breathe; Justice; Peace; Equality; Freedom; Enough; Power to the People; Justice Now; Say Her Name; Sí Se Puede (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; Education Reform; and Mentor."
They'd previously agreed not to use the names of Black people who were killed by police or in other racially motivated incidents, per Spears.
The NBA season is scheduled to resume at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Florida. Scott explained trying to shift his focus from the fight for racial equality and COVID-19 back to basketball hasn't been easy.
"But I don't know, man, it's tough thinking about that after what's gone on these past couple months," he said Monday. "I've been dealing with that and just trying to work out every day and get my mind ready for Orlando, but at the same time, how can you not focus on everything else going on?"
An unnamed player shared similar concerns with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski in June.
"Once we start playing basketball again, the news will turn from systemic racism to who did what in the game last night. It's a crucial time for us to be able to play and blend that and impact what's happening in our communities," the player said. "We are asking ourselves, 'Where and how can we make the biggest impact?' Mental health is part of the discussion too, and how we handle all of that in a bubble."
Despite the players' concerns and the recent surge of coronavirus cases in Florida, the NBA has continued to move forward with plans to restart play at the end of July. An exhibition schedule released Saturday calls for the first scrimmage to happen July 22.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver previously stated the bubble in Orlando "may not be for everyone."