Toronto, Canada– The Toronto Raptors have unveiled several team buses for the upcoming continuation of the 2019-2020 NBA season.
The buses feature matte black paint with the words “BLACK LIVES MATTER” painted down the length. The buses are part of the Raptor’s plan to improve their organization’s social footprint, but it is not the first time they have taken a strong stance on social issues.
On May 30th, the Raptors’ made the following statement on Twitter:
“As an organisation and a community, we come from all over the world. We are diverse, we speak different languages, but our shared humanity unites us.
When we see racism and violence committed against someone because of the colour of their skin, we should, and do, feel outrage. We cannot accept this.
While we grieve for those we have lost, we know grieving is not enough. We must honour their memory by acknowledging these ills exist, confronting them, and coming together to create a better society. It’s far past time.”
Statement From The Toronto Raptors: pic.twitter.com/almbXwi005
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 31, 2020
In an effort to go beyond just pretty paint jobs and social media posts, the Toronto Raptors have also created a new department within the company, the office of Organization Culture and Inclusion.
They have promoted John Wiggins as the new Vice President over the department. This new position aims to help the team make significant and positive changes to the Toronto community.
Wiggins said in a statement:
“This position has the opportunity to directly impact change,”
He went on to say:
“That’s what excited me so much about this role – the chance to impact change directly in my organization, my community, and my country.”
Any time an organization, such as a professional sports team, can use their wealth and status to support the citizens of their communities, it is a win all the way around.
As part of efforts to ensure an ongoing commitment to meaningful social change in our organization & our community, John Wiggins has been named VP, Organizational Culture & Inclusion.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) July 20, 2020
Fortunately, the organization and the players are choosing to support other companies and organizations other than the Black Lives Matters.
Norman Powell, 27 year old shooting guard for the Raptors, is donating 100% of his July proceeds from his clothing line Understanding the Grind to two different foundations: Black Women in Motion, based out of Toronto, and Color of Change in the United States.
According to their website:
“Black Women in Motion is a Toronto-based, youth-led organization that empowers and supports the advancement of black woman and survivors of sexual violence.
We work within an anti-racist, intersectional feminist, trauma-informed and survivor-centered framework to create culturally-relevant content, educational tools, healing spaces and economic opportunities for black womxn.”
Color of Change is the largest online racial justice community that is focused on change at the corporate and government level.
The Raptors are just one of the many NBA teams that focused on promoting social justice for the upcoming season.
“Your voice matters, especially when you are a leader or influential figure, and especially if you are white. Leaders have to be bold enough to state the obvious and call out racism.” https://t.co/pO2Egv0EMn
— Matthew W. Thomas (@Theiceman_21) June 3, 2020
The collective goal is to combat systemic racism and other injustices that plague our society. Some of the ways other players are “shining the spotlight” on these social injustices include wearing clothing that says, “I can’t breathe”, “Go out and vote”, and “Black Lives Matter”.
The NBA and the NBPA agreed upon 29 specific social messages that can be displayed on the back of their jerseys to keep the focus on topics such as systemic racism, and police brutality.
Sadly, anyone can wear a shirt with a buzzword on it. Hopefully more individual players will follow the lead of Powell and put their money where their mouths are.
Social programs that do good for the community as a whole will go much further for the society than attempts to follow the crowd and try to look relevant on the court. There are many social programs around the country that could use more monetary support like that from Normal Powell.
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Printing things on NBA jerseys, wasn’t always welcomed by all. Law Enforcement Today recently brought you a story about anti-police phrases being printed on NBA jerseys.
The NBA…otherwise known as the No Balls Association for kowtowing to the woke mob, has apparently done an about face and now will allow the purchase of custom jerseys with the slogan “Free Hong Kong” on them, according to Breitbart News. Apparently, customers were attempting to buy custom NBA jerseys with the words “Free Hong Kong” printed on it, however the request initially was forbidden.
The reversal comes after some people tried to purchase some of the new version of “woke” NBA jerseys, which allow customized social justice warrior messages, just like real NBA players get to wear. Apparently “fans” were allowed to customize jerseys with whatever social justice saying they wanted to…just not “Free Hong Kong.”
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) July 13, 2020
“The NBA bans you the fan from putting #freehongkong on customized league jerseys even as they allow players to wear customized jerseys,” Clay Travis tweeted on Monday.
In a tweet, Travis included a short video where he was trying to customize a jersey with “Free Hong Kong” in the customization field on the website, however when he tried to do so, the site would not permit it.
“We are unable to customize this item with the text you have entered,” the website said after the phrase was attempted to be entered. “Please try a different entry.”
Apparently, several others tried entering any number of phrases with “free” in them, and all were allowed except for “Hong Kong.”
I just tried it and it basically lets you do "Free Anything" except for "Free Hong Kong." https://t.co/5zv65ENS1L
— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) July 13, 2020
What was allowed? Oh, “Kill Cops,” “Burn Jews,” however not “Free Hong Kong.” Isn’t that weird!
— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) July 14, 2020
The Washington Free Beacon also noted the following phrases which can be referred to as “hate speech” were allowed.
- F—K HONG KONG
- DEFUND POLICE
- ABOLISH COPS
- BEWARE OF JEWS
- SNEAKY JEWS
- BAN GYPSIES
- XI FOR LIFE
- CANCEL ISRAEL
- NINE 11 HOAX
- END TAIWAN
- ENSLAVE TIBET
- TRUMP HAS AIDS
- PENCE IS GAY
- UYGHURS LIE
So, let’s examine this. Cop hating is fine. Anti-Semitism is fine. Apparently gay bashing is apparently ok. Making fun of someone with AIDS? No problem. When the woke mob gets ahold of this, it is gonna get ugly for the NBA.
Look, clearly the NBA doesn’t want to hurt it’s lucrative business relationship with communist China. While NBA players such as Lebron James and others slam police officers in the United States for so-called “oppression against minorities,” the hypocrites turn the other cheek when it comes to pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong, which by the way became illegal with the implementation of a new law that criminalizes them.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 14, 2020
Face it. Lebron James, Steph Curry and the rest of the overpaid band of clowns that get paid millions of dollars to bounce a ball are nothing if not hypocrites. They complain about systemic racism in the United States while stuffing their pockets with money from Chinese Communists, who have been responsible for the deaths of millions over the years.
On Tuesday, the NBA did an about face, after a social media frenzy criticizing the league for banning the words.
The Daily Caller reported that Fanatics, the operator of the NBA shop provided a statement to the outlet provided a statement that read:
“The phrase was inadvertently prohibited on all our league online store sites and has not been fixed. Fans who wish to customize it, so long as the text meets the 12-character limit, are able to do so.”
Last week, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MI) criticized NBA commissioner Adam Silver over the league’s cozy arrangement with communist China. In a letter to Silver, Hawley said that since the NBA was going to allow players to wear social justice warrior messages on the backs of their jerseys when the league returns, the option of placing positive messages about Hong Kong, the military and law enforcement should also be allowed.
If @NBA is going to put social cause statements on uniforms, why not “Support our Troops” or “Back the Blue”? Or given how much $$ @nba makes in #China, how about “Free Hong Kong”! Today I wrote to Adam Silver to ask for answers pic.twitter.com/PthYR4OxmE
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) July 10, 2020
To which ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski [never heard of him] responded with “Fuck you.” To a sitting United States Senator. Hawley shared a screenshot of the tweet, to which Wojnarowski apologized saying he would reach out directly to Hawley.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) July 10, 2020
“I was disrespectful and I made a regrettable mistake. I’m sorry for the way I handled myself and I am reaching out immediately to Senator Hawley to apologize directly. I also need to apologize to my ESPN colleagues because I know my actions were unacceptable and should not reflect on any of them.”
He still has his job.
As to the jersey controversy, the NBA as a league has not issued a comment on the controversy.
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