Celtics unveil player jerseys with social justice messages in place of last names

Celtics unveil player jerseys with social justice messages in place of last names
The Boston Celtics logo and Red Auerbach signature are seen on the TD Garden parquet floor before the start of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

ORLANDO, Fla. — On Wednesday, the Boston Celtics gave fans a preview of their new look heading into the resumption of the 2020 NBA season.

In early July, the league announced that it would allow players to replace the last names on their jerseys with social messages, if they chose to. On Wednesday afternoon, the Celtics tweeted out a series of pictures showing those new messages on the backs of players’ jerseys.

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In a series of tweets, the organization published photos of the jerseys along with what messages they carry on them.

Jayson Tatum’s number 0 jersey reads ‘Black Lives Matter,’ as does Daniel Theis’ uniform.

‘Love Us’ was one of the most popular phrases chosen, with Kemba Walker, Carsen Edwards and Semi Ojeleye sporting it on their nameplates. The only other word that appeared on three players’ uniforms was ‘Enough,’ which was chosen by Brad Wanamaker, Javonte Green and Romeo Langford.

‘Equality’ will appear on the back of Grant Williams’ jersey. The French translation, ‘Égalité,’ was chosen by Tacko Fall and Vincent Porier, both of whom were born in predominantly French-speaking nations.  

Both Marcus Smart and Enes Kanter chose the word ‘Freedom’ to replace their last names on their jerseys.

Four players chose words or phrases that no other Celtics player chose to replace their nameplate.

Jaylen Brown’s says ‘Liberation’ above his number 7, Gordon Hayward chose the message ‘Education Reform’ to take the place of his last name, Robert Williams went with ‘Respect Us,’ and Tremont Waters will have ‘Stand Up’ on his number 51 uniform.  

The final stretch of the Celtics’ regular season will resume Friday when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks in Orlando, Fla.