Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler said “I don’t care” when asked if he received an explanation for the league making him switch jerseys just before the Heat’s opening tipoff against the Nuggets on Saturday.
Butler played in the 125-105 victory while wearing his No. 22 jersey sans name on the back.
He revealed his stance to play with no message on his back as his message for racial inequality.
do not get lost in a sea of despair, be hopeful, be optimistic. our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. – John Lewis pic.twitter.com/3Qq3dJU3ex
— Jimmy Butler (@JimmyButler) August 1, 2020
“I love and respect all the messages that the league did choose. But for me, I felt like with no message, with no name, it’s going back to like who I was. And if I wasn’t who I was today, I’m no different than anybody else of color,” Butler said on July 14.
“And I want that to be my message in the sense that just because I’m an NBA player, everybody has the same rights no matter what. That’s how I feel about my people of color.”
As seen during some of the first NBA games, an ample amount of players have displayed different messages on the back of their jerseys.
Alongside the messages, most players and coaches have also knelt in solidarity during the national anthem.
Butler did not want to use one of the NBA-approved messages.
The first-year Heat player changed his no-name jersey for the standard one with “BUTLER” under his No. 22 before scoring 22 points, dishing seven assists, and grabbing four rebounds in the victory over the Denver Nuggets.