LeBron James said Saturday that he won’t wear a social justice jersey when the National Basketball Association (NBA) returns later this month.

The Los Angeles Lakers basketball star said during a conference call from Florida that his thoughts cannot be contained on the back of a jersey,

“It was no disrespect to the list that was handed down to all the players,” James said. “I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. It’s just something that didn’t seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal.”


The NBA is recognizing the recent pushes for social and racial justice by allowing each player to choose from a list a message to put on the back of their jersey. James is one of a few who declined to decide on a saying from the list, he said.

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

“Everything that I do has a purpose, has a meaning. 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,” he added.

James also said he never considered not playing due to the coronavirus pandemic, saying he believes the NBA and its commissioner “took all precautionary reasons, measures to make sure that we as a league are as safe as we can be.”

“Obviously, in anything that you do, there can be things that can happen, but we will cross that line ... if it happens,” he said. 

JaVale McGee, the Lakers’ veteran center, said his jersey will display the phrase “Respect Us,” saying, “It’s a blessing to have this platform.”


“This is the biggest platform we can speak about social injustices,” McGee said, the Associated Press reported. “That’s the best time to talk about it.”

The NBA will resume games on July 30 at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Calls for social and racial justice increased after the death of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis police custody.