The Celtics have chosen the messages that will be displayed on the backs of their jerseys, as part of the NBA’s effort to keep social justice issues at the forefront when seeding games begin Friday.
Every player on the roster participated in the initiative, selecting a word or phrase from a pre-approved list created by the league. A number of Celtics expressed disappointment about the limited nature of the final list.
Forward Jaylen Brown, for example, was hopeful the league would be open to adding more options. Some of his suggestions were “Results,” “Break The Cycle,” and “Inequality By Design.” Brown also said he considered putting neither a message nor his last name on the back of his jersey, in order to make a statement about the victims of police brutality whose stories have not been publicized.
“It’s kind of tough to epitomize all the feelings and emotions and everything that you’re passionate about into one word,” Brown said. “Being able to have an empty space and playing for some of those people that we don’t know their names — and we may not ever know their names — I think that’s powerful, too.”
The league ultimately ruled the blank space was also not an option.
Below is the message each player selected:
Jaylen Brown: Liberation
Carsen Edwards: Love Us
Tacko Fall: Égalité
Enes Kanter: Freedom
Javonte Green: Enough
Gordon Hayward: Education Reform
Romeo Langford: Enough
Semi Ojeleye: Love Us
Vincent Poirier: Égalité
Marcus Smart: Freedom
Jayson Tatum: Black Lives Matter
Daniel Theis: Black Lives Matter
Kemba Walker: Love Us
Brad Wanamaker: Enough
Tremont Waters: Stand Up
Grant Williams: Equality
Robert Williams: Respect Us