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Some Thoughts on the NBA’s Racial Justice NOBs

Good morning! Greetings from Uni Watch HQ, where all three inhabitants continue to be healthy and safe. Hope the same is true at your home.

As you may have heard by now, word began circulating early on Sunday that the NBA may allow players to wear social justice messaging in place of their NOBs when games resume at the end of July.

Some details and thoughts on this (with the continued caveat that it’s still not a sure thing that the NBA season will even get to restart as planned, but let’s assume for the sake of this discussion that it will):

• The NOB program is not yet officially a done deal, but multiple reports indicate that it is likely to happen. Under the proposed arrangement between the league, the players’ union, and Nike, players could wear a slogan, a hashtag, the name of a charity, the name of police brutality victim, or something along those lines, instead of their NOB.

• The messaging would not be mandatory, with players retaining the option of wearing their surname.

• The NBA is a majority-Black league with a large number of activist and outspoken players, some of whom in recent weeks had questioned whether participating in a restarted season might detract from the current racial justice movement. The NOB messaging proposal is a way to address those concerns so players can feel like they’re still pushing for change while playing in the Disney/Orlando bubble.

• This wouldn’t be the first time in recent history that the NBA has tinkered with its NOBs for regular season games. During the 2013-14 season, the Nets and Heat wore nickNOBs when facing each other on Jan. 10, March 14, and April 8 (plus the Heat wore nickNOBs against the Celtics on Jan. 21, but the Celtics wore regular NOBs for that game). The following season, the Christmas Day uniforms featured the players’ first names instead of their surnames. (Of course, there were also occasional nickNOBs in the 1960 and ’70s, but not on a team- or league-wide basis.)

So what do I think of it? I strongly support the goals of the racial justice movement, and I also love that the idea for this initiative reportedly came from the players themselves, so it’s not just a pandering move by the league’s marketing department. Still, I’m a bit uneasy about turning NOBs into personal messaging platforms. Here are three reasons why:

1. From a design standpoint, the NOB’s function is to help us identify the players. Once you start moving away from that, you open the door to the NOB being, well, anything (including an advertising slogan, ugh). I’d rather not go down that road.

2. While the current protest uprising is obviously a significant moment in our national timeline, it won’t be the last such moment. When the next social movement emerges, and the one after that, and the one after that, do we keep turning NOBs into soapboxes? How do we establish the threshold for which moments deserve this treatment and which ones don’t? And at what point does it start to seem trite, rote, or reflexive, thereby turning into a cynical exercise instead of an inspirational one? (Counterpoint: It’s possible that this concern and the preceding one might be rendered moot by the weirdness of this pandemic-interrupted season. In other words, maybe a uni-centric gesture during such a strange moment in sports history wouldn’t serve as much of a precedent for similar moves under more normal circumstances. Hard to say.)

3. While I can’t think of any outspokenly conservative or right-wing NBA players off the top of my head, it seems reasonable to assume that at least a few such players exist. What happens if one or more of those players want to wear a counter-message like “All Lives Matter,” or “Law and Order,” or “Save Our Statues,” or the name of the local police union? That seems like a potential controversy waiting to happen.

So while I applaud the impulse and intent here, and while I’m certainly curious to see what sorts of messages the players choose to wear, I think team- or league-wide patches would be a better option. Or if they have to use the NOBs because they have higher visibility than a patch, I’d rather see a league-wide approach, like what the Premier League has been doing with its “Black Lives Matter” NOBs.

But that’s just me. What do you think?

(My thanks to @texastrevor for his research assistance regarding the 2014 nickNOB game dates.)

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Vexillology update: As you’re probably already aware, Mississippi is finally taking the long-overdue step of changing its state flag. Reader/designer Alan Beam, who’s a native Mississippian, has responded to that news by coming up with a new flag concept (shown at right; click to enlarge), which he describes like so:

My thought process was to:

• Create a unifying design.

• Build on the Laurin Stennis-created theme of history (colors and 20 “stars”), hospitality (magnolia flower blossom), and hope (flying swallow).

• Use the colors of the current flag and build on them (with royal, specifically).

• Visually drive home the fact that our state was named after the fifth-largest river in the world — “the great river” — which made our state famous and is something all Mississippians can be proud of.

Not look like the Missouri flag (which the Mississippi Bicentennial flag from 2017 resembled).

• Appear unique and distinct compared to other American state flags.

• Have a free-flowing, strong symbol for hope (the swallow) coming out of the past and flying upward and onward for a better social landscape of the state moving forward.

Nicely stated, Alan — and a nice design, too!

It’s worth noting that under Mississippi’s current plan, the state’s new flag must have the words “In God We Trust,” so Alan’s design wouldn’t qualify for consideration. But it’s still a very nice piece of work.

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Click to enlarge

Too good for the Ticker: Zane Heiple’s mom made him these fantastic helmet-themed drink coasters. “Each one represents a college or pro team that I cheer for,” he says. “Some are current designs, some throwback, and some are faux models.” Now that’s a great mom!

• • • • •

• • • • •

The Ticker
By Jamie Rathjen

Baseball News: The Korea Baseball Organization’s Doosan Bears wore NOBs set in the classic Latin alphabet (also known as the Roman alphabet), instead of the KBO’s usual Korean Hangul alphabet, yesterday (from @aircornell). … Speaking of the KBO, they could be going back to having live fans in the stands as soon as this Friday. … Former Yankees P Mariano Rivera received his only career RBI in 2009 by walking with the bases loaded, and he did it while wearing infielder Cody Ransom’s No. 12 helmet (from Joey McCullough). … Since a 10-year-old Ohio boy’s Little League season was canceled, he and his dad made a backyard field and fictional league, including uniforms for a team called the Westerville Tropics (from Kary Klismet).

Football News: The Patriots signed QB Cam Newton yesterday, and ESPN Photoshopped him into the team’s old uniform, which he’ll never wear (from multiple readers). … David Firestone says he recently acquired some pages of the Raiders’ playbook from 1964. … Pandemic college football content: NBC Sports Northwest put together the top 25 Oregon combos of the 2010s (from Kary Klismet).

Hockey News: In this video from the 1984-85 QMJHL season, you can see the Granby Bisons wearing Cooperalls with unusual triangular stripes in what was also one of 17 games played by their opponents, the short-lived Plattsburgh Pioneers (from Wade Heidt).

Soccer News: At the NWSL’s Challenge Cup, players and officials wore Black Lives Matter warm-up shirts and most wore armbands, with team sideline personnel also wearing the armbands or both items. I’ll have more on the NWSL’s kits this week. … Also at the Challenge Cup, Chicago Red Stars and USWNT midfielder Morgan Gautraut changed her NOB from Brian to reflect her husband’s last name. Sometimes women change their NOBs when they get married and sometimes they don’t — Gautraut did so after more than two and a half years. … English Championship team Brentford wore BLM warm-up shirts on Friday. … For the remaining Serie A games this season, Sampdoria added a “Samp for People” sleeve patch, as well as “Stop Racism” to their warm-up shirts. … Josh Hinton‘s Twitter feed has some shirts for next season that have started to appear in stores. … New first shirt for the Spanish Segunda División’s Deportivo de La Coruña. … German 2. Bundesliga team St. Pauli wore their new second kit yesterday (from Ed Żelaski). … Two more from Ed: New 125th-anniversary home shirt for West Ham and new badge for French side Sedan.

Grab Bag: Australian Football League team St. Kilda continued an annual tradition of replacing the red on one of their guernseys with purple in support of a charity founded by former captain Nick Riewoldt that researches diseases that cause bone marrow failure. However, they wore purple socks instead this weekend. … Mascots or logos now wearing masks include Sparty, Michigan State’s mascot (from Justin Zayid) and a Pittsburgh city skyline logo (from Matt Pontoriero). … After Under Armour said it was terminating its deal with UCLA, it now appears that they’re trying to do the same thing with Cal (from multiple readers). … Japanese manufacturer Mikasa posted a 3D model of its new volleyball (from Jeremy Brahm). … The NASCAR Cup Series champion’s patch as worn by Kyle Busch uses the odd phrasing “Champion 2x,” and Bob Novotny wonders why it can’t say “Champion x2” or “2x Champion.” … Max Weintraub saw a tattoo of that Boston sports team logo mashup that you may have seen before. It needs the Revolution and Pride, somehow. … Laredo, Texas, used to use the Confederate battle flag in its logo and elsewhere as part of the various flags to have flown over Texas, but decided to switch to the civil flag instead (from Kary Klismet). … A group in Omaha unofficially redesigned the city flag (from Jon Gates). … Naval aviators on the USS Gerald R. Ford were “counseled” after wearing an unapproved patch referring to bats as one possible origin of Covid-19 (from Timmy Donahue).

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Click to enlarge

What Paul did last night: Although we no longer have the Racket, we now have the New Racket: the nightly barrage of fireworks that NYC, like many cities, has been hit with in recent weeks. Our neighborhood has been a real hot spot, thanks to some folks who live at the end of a nearby dead-end street. They always shoot off a lot of ’works on Independence Day (which we enjoy) and sometimes a few days before the holiday (which we don’t love, but waddaya gonna do), but they and a few other neighbors got off to a very early start this year. It’s been going on for at least two weeks now.

I wouldn’t mind it so much myself, but the ’works really spook Uni Watch girl mascot Caitlin, who hides under a table and then under the bed when the pyrotechnics start. That’s okay on the actual holiday — it comes with the territory — but she shouldn’t have to endure it for such a long stretch. Poor li’l cutie.

The branch is still there.

As always, you can see the full set of Pandemic Porch Cocktails™ photos — all 100 of them — here.

• • • • •

Our latest raffle winner is Mitch Wrisley, who’s won himself a membership card. Congrats to him, and thanks to Bill Emigh for sponsoring this one. — Paul

68 comments to Some Thoughts on the NBA’s Proposed Racial Justice NOBs

  • Michael H | June 29, 2020 at 8:20 am |

    Great flag design by Alan. I hope it gets submitted to be considered. First class write-up also.

    • Johnny V | June 29, 2020 at 9:41 am |

      I disagree. There’s enough flags in the US with 5 point stars already, it’s funny they describe it as “unique and distinct”. Numbers (or any type) should never be on a flag. There’s too many things going on.

    • Jim Vilk | June 29, 2020 at 9:49 am |

      If I were a flagpole, I’d wear that.

  • JohnMark | June 29, 2020 at 9:06 am |

    The similarities between this Omaha flag and the “People’s flag of Milwaukee” are ridiculous. Even the “symbolism” sections on their websites are structured the same…

    https://www.omahaflag.com/symbolism

    https://milwaukeeflag.com/symbolism/

    • BvK1126 | June 29, 2020 at 10:40 am |

      Similar? Yes. Indistinguishable? No. I think there’s room for both designs in the vexillological world without creating too much confustion.

      • JohnMark | June 29, 2020 at 12:40 pm |

        Fair points, but I would argue they would unintentionally cause confusion and therefore miss out on being a quickly identifiable symbol. “Ridiculous” wasn’t a good word choice by me, “profound” or “obvious” would have been better.

  • Clevo | June 29, 2020 at 9:21 am |

    with the flag item, it’s a good time to give the flag design episode of 99pi a listen or a relisten
    https://youtu.be/pnv5iKB2hl4

  • Chuck | June 29, 2020 at 9:26 am |

    Good grief, “In God We Trust” belongs on the scrap heap of history with the Confederate Battle Flag, yet Mississippi is going to go there with their new flag.

    • Jim Vilk | June 29, 2020 at 10:23 am |

      Please tell me you’re not equating that phrase with that flag…

      Actually, that would make a great NBA NOB. But I’d be surprised if it were allowed…

      • art | June 29, 2020 at 12:49 pm |

        Is it a coincidence that the only other state flag with those words is Florida’s, which was adopted upon secession?

        • Jim Vilk | June 29, 2020 at 1:34 pm |

          Yes, it is.
          It’s on every state’s currency, after all.

          You want to debate the merits of having the phrase on or off your flag, that’s one thing. My point is that the phrase is not to be equated with the confederacy. That’s all.

    • Will S | June 29, 2020 at 10:31 am |

      That reminds me of a sign I saw displayed in a used book store decades ago.
      “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash”

    • Michael Lee | June 29, 2020 at 11:00 am |

      They couldn’t call a truce in this Culture War Battle without firing a shot in a completely different one. It is pathological. If they want a state endorsement of religion, they should have the flag say “Thank God For Mississippi.” (I’ll explain the joke: It means “at least we aren’t as bad as Mississippi,” uttered by many a 49th place state. My Parents were both born and raised in Mississippi.)
      I don’t lose sleep about IGWT on money, but Flags shouldn’t have words on them.

      • ChrisH | June 29, 2020 at 4:23 pm |

        “Bless Your Heart” would be a good replacement.

    • BvK1126 | June 29, 2020 at 11:04 am |

      As someone who strives to humbly identify as a follower of Christ, the politicization of the phrase “In God We Trust” leaves me shaking my head. Does the phrase belong on a sign inside (or even outside) my house? Sure! Does it belong on the emblems of a state government? I say no.

      It’s the government’s job to make sure I have the right to dsiplay that sign on my person or property and to ensure I have the freedom to practice its tenets against potential objections from other public or private actors. It shouldn’t be the government’s job to express a preference for that particular religious viewpoint over others, expecially when I can’t be sure that the God in whom they’re encouraging our Trust is the same one I try to follow.

      I hope most of us can see through the obvious (and rather cynical) purposes of this edict of the Mississippi legislature. It’s not about faith. It’s about scoring a “win” for a political base as consolation for that political base’s loss on another front (the removal of the Confedrate Battle Flag).

      • Robbie | June 29, 2020 at 11:42 am |

        Very well said! I appreciate your comment.

    • jey | June 29, 2020 at 1:30 pm |

      I’ve long blacked out the phrase on paper money but have recently pivoted to changing “god” to “good.”

    • Dave | June 29, 2020 at 9:13 pm |

      Also because a government entity should not have anything to do with religion!

    • StLMarty | June 29, 2020 at 10:39 pm |

      In God We Trust, Inc.

  • Greg | June 29, 2020 at 9:30 am |

    Love the flag design. My only criticism of it would be that when rendered in certain formats it might be difficult to replicate the the star to bird transition, and in general that feels a little too much. Might be better off just going stars only?

  • Leigh | June 29, 2020 at 9:31 am |

    When I first came to South Korea in 2003 (still here 17 years later) the Doosan Bears were the only KBO team that had English on their website, which since at the time I knew zero Korean automatically made me a Doosan Bears fan. It also helped that I lived across the bridge from their home stadium at the Olympic Stadium where baseball was A demonstration sport. The LG Twins share the stadium.

    • Mark in Shiga | June 29, 2020 at 8:15 pm |

      If Korean teams are going to use Roman-letter NOBs (as Japanese teams do), I hope they re-proportion the names and numbers. As they are now (and as you can see in the photo), the numbers are a little too small; they use larger NOBs to make the more visually complex hangŭl letters easier to read.

  • JT | June 29, 2020 at 9:41 am |

    The fact that this concept of the Mississippi flag (and the stennis) isn’t derived from the confederate flag is a plus. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee should follow

    • Michael Lee | June 29, 2020 at 1:59 pm |

      Georgia is a stars-and-bars clone. AL and FL use a red saltire based on the Burgundy Cross of colonial New Spain to which they once belonged. I don’t think they are derived from the confederate flag, but I am sure some people who voted for adoption liked that they both had a saltire. Arkansas specifically said their fourth blue star represents the Confederacy. But where do you get Tennessee? Red and blue with white stars? It is derived from United States symbols.

  • Jim Vilk | June 29, 2020 at 10:16 am |

    As a proponent of bignormal-sized numbers and NNOB, I’m going to abstain from the current NOB discussion.

    Since a 10-year-old Ohio boy’s Little League season was canceled, he and his dad made a backyard field and fictional league, including uniforms for a team called the Westerville Tropics

    Probably the most fun he’s ever going to have. As each year passes I have found real-world organized sports to be less and less fun. Give me imaginary/defunct leagues any day.

    we now have the New Racket: the nightly barrage of fireworks that NYC, like many cities, has been hit with in recent weeks

    Whew… so we’re not the only ones. At least it’s only one guy around here, and he’s on the next street over, but every night for the past two weeks he has to fire off some big boomers with a few sparkly ones. Could be worse but it’s still annoying.

    At first I thought it was a Juneteenth thing, because a lot of people within earshot joined in. That would’ve been fine if it stopped the next day. It didn’t.

    It would also be fine if said dude would call it a night around 10pm…

  • Brian | June 29, 2020 at 10:24 am |

    One issue with the NBA social justice MOB is will the league allow a message criticizing China in some way such as referencing the Hong Kong protests or the Uyghurs.

    • Jim Vilk | June 29, 2020 at 10:32 am |

      ^^
      THIS

    • Anthony Verna | June 29, 2020 at 11:06 am |

      Free Hong Kong. Stop killing Uyghurs.

      Yeah – you’ll see neither phrase or any reference to them in the NBA.

      Which is not to say that the program or what we will see in place of NOB is worthless. It will be a worthy program. Any amount of freedom or equality is worth pursuing.

      But it will have a blind spot.

    • Le Cracquere | June 29, 2020 at 11:44 am |

      My proposed NOB:

      XINJIANG

  • hugh.c.mcbride | June 29, 2020 at 10:25 am |

    Beautiful design proposal for the new Mississippi flag. Well done, Mr. Beam!

  • Geoff P | June 29, 2020 at 10:26 am |

    The last two soccer ticker items don’t have links, just text that highlights when you mouse over it.

    • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2020 at 10:28 am |

      Try it now, Geoff.

      • Geoff P | June 29, 2020 at 5:00 pm |

        Working now. Thanks!

  • DN | June 29, 2020 at 10:38 am |

    The NOB problem is going to be when the NBA inevitably starts selling jerseys with the BLM names/messages on the back and making money off of it. Nice idea in theory, will likely end up greedy and bastardized in execution

  • Rick | June 29, 2020 at 10:38 am |

    Fireworks are our cats personal hell. Fireworks are illegal in our city. Just like adultery, only if your caught is it illegal. We give her some type of kitty ketamine prescription and she’s calmer.

  • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2020 at 11:02 am |

    I must say, I’m surprised by how little reaction/discussion there is, pro or con, regarding the NBA NOBs. Perhaps current events exhaustion has set in..? If so, that’s understandable.

    • BvK1126 | June 29, 2020 at 11:09 am |

      Sorry! I got my dander up about the Mississippi flag issue instead. Let me see if I can refocus and contribute to a discussion on the lede. :-)

    • John P | June 29, 2020 at 11:15 am |

      I’m still mulling it over, I guess. You made some solid points and I can’t really argue with any. Wait and see….while also preparing to be disappointed somehow.

    • Mike Engle | June 29, 2020 at 11:49 am |

      I’m gonna sensor all my “should the NBA even come back now?” thoughts because strictly Uni Watch wise, let’s assume it does, as you did, Paul.
      You have a very salient point about how somebody is going to request a “Darren Wilson” or “George Zimmerman” NOB, because some right-winger baller is gonna stir the pot in pursuit of being “fair and balanced,” “representing the other side,” or some other nonsense. The NBA will have to weigh pros and cons of (a) censoring the anti-BLM name on the back (which they can do, they’re not the government), and maybe losing a sponsor and getting some negative press, and (b) scrapping the whole dang initiative. I predict (b) would happen. Then, moot point.
      I think I like keeping the jerseys as normal as possible. Ads are bad, Nike swooshes are bad, and memorials *replacing NOB’s, where NOB’s should be* are palatable strictly relatively speaking for a crazy 2020 restart, but also technically bad. The players will write worthy names on their shoes anyway. They should! Maybe they can auction game-worn shoes with BLM messages, for charity. That would be great AND less Uni Watch invasive than BLM NOB’s on the jerseys.

    • walter | June 29, 2020 at 12:28 pm |

      A movement away from using the players’ surnames on the jerseys is a bad idea, for all the instances of political theater you brought up. Political stances are fine outside of the 48 minutes when the game is played.

    • Richard | June 29, 2020 at 2:30 pm |

      I think people don’t want to get into an argument online. I have my own opinions on this and I just don’t have the time or energy to talk about it here.

      I do agree with the viewpoint that the names on the back are functional to identify the players on the court and should remain that way. As someone else mentioned, it will begin to get out of hand, the NBA will make money off of it, and it will have a blind spot with regard to China’s human rights abuses. Having said that, I think it’s best to avoid that mess by sticking with the player’s last names.

      Here’s a better idea. Put patches honoring a social justice cause over the existing ad patches.

    • Michael Lee | June 29, 2020 at 2:44 pm |

      I have trouble believing they will let players put whatever they want on the NOB, even censored. I can’t imagine the NBA being okay with ACAB or FTP or Abolish the Police (or even Defund). I also doubt they want to be put in a position of approving and denying individual slogans or deciding which victims should be commemorated (what if you want to use the name of an accused cop-shooter who you think is innocent) or which charities are okay (Trump Foundation, Clinton Global Initiative, Wal-Mart Foundation?). And imagine the shiz-storm that would happen with denying or allowing a off-topic slogan like “Stand with the Troops” or “Environmental Justice.”

      I am guessing several players and some league officials will coordinate to create a list of a couple dozen slogans and causes and people. They will have some fairly hot button slogans to avoid looking unserious. Maybe “End Police Brutality”, “Police Reform Now”, “End Mass Incarceration” or “No More Cash Bail.” But I doubt they want really specific controversial policy descriptions like “End Qualified Immunity” and certainly not anything direct like “Police Unions Protect Killers.” The NBA have to deal with police as well as politicians. There will be plenty of platitudes to allow conservative players some cover like “Stronger Together” “Equality” or “End Racism.”

      • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2020 at 2:59 pm |

        This seems like a plausible outcome — well-stated.

  • John P | June 29, 2020 at 11:11 am |

    The fireworks have gotten totally out of hand. They’re completely illegal here for civilians in Illinois(since like ’93ish I think), and usually that meant road trips to Indiana and Wisconsin for folks to get them, that and the added costs meant you’d hear them for like a week before ad after the 4th; I could deal with that. But we’ve heard non-stop fireworks, even during a few downpours which is hard to understand, since mid April. When does it stop? It isn’t fun for anyone anymore, it’s just terrorizing dogs and cats, and ruining sleep for the rest of us. How can anyone afford that many fireworks? How is the supply still there? So many annoying unanswered questions.

  • BvK1126 | June 29, 2020 at 11:36 am |

    Re SJMOB in place of NOB on NBA jerseys: I hate it. Terrible idea!

    I’m definitely not one to think that athletes should “stick to sports” with their away-from-the-game commentary. By all means, if you have informed yourself on issues and have an opinion, use your platform to express it! (Besides, 100% of the time I’ve seen people tell athletes to “stick to sports” it’s because they disagree with the message, so I consider it a disingenuous argument in the first place.)

    That said, as Paul mentioned, names on the back of uniforms are part of functional design. They help identify who the player is. Even when certain variations like first names and nicknames have been allowed, they still serve that original, functional purpose. Sure, numbers help with that, too, but only if: (1) you have either memorized which players where what numbers, or (2) you have the ability or inclination to find a roster that correlates that information (whether in print or online), which isn’t always convenient.

    I also have concerns that the social pressure to conform may affect some players. Even if a player agrees with certain messages being displayed, he may not want to use his uniform as a place to express those messages – which could easily be seen as a form of “virtue signaling.”

    From my own experience, I’m not one to put a lot of slogans or memes on my social media spaces (mainly Facebook and Instagram). Not because I don’t have strong opinions, but because I don’t find those as particularly satisfying or productive ways for me to express myself. Similarly, a player shouldn’t fee the need to justify a lack of messaging on his jersey as indicative of beliefs one way or the other.

    Finally, I agree with Paul that viewpoint policing could become a real issue – not only from the standpoint of someone wishing to express a contrary, perhaps socially conservative message, but even extreme messaging on the supposed social justice side. Would messages like “Defund the Police,” “Abolish the Police,” “No Good Cops,” or “Anarchy Forever” be allowed? Who gets to decide what messages pass muster and which ones don’t?

    I’m all for sports being used for more engagement on issues of social and political importance. But this idea seems ripe for creating more problems than it addresses.

    • Mike Engle | June 29, 2020 at 11:51 am |

      This must have come in as I was typing my own…I’d concur with this.

    • Anthony Verna | June 29, 2020 at 11:52 am |

      Anarchy is the state of a society being freely constituted without authorities or a governing body. It may also refer to a society or group of people that totally rejects a set hierarchy.

      ***

      I mean. . . hey, why not? I’m not an anarchist, but this doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

      • Jim Vilk | June 29, 2020 at 12:13 pm |

        Once someone gets in the way of what you want to do (and they will), see how much you like anarchy then…

      • Eric | June 29, 2020 at 6:32 pm |

        It’s all fun and games until an armed gang decides that they want your house!

      • StLMarty | June 29, 2020 at 10:37 pm |

        Maybe for the U.K.?

  • walter | June 29, 2020 at 12:30 pm |

    A movement away from using the players’ surnames on the jerseys is a bad idea, for all the instances of political theater you brought up. Political stances are fine outside of the 48 minutes when the game is played.

    • walter | June 29, 2020 at 12:40 pm |

      Even Metta World Peace’s message of, well, World Peace seemed dissonant on the back of a uniform.

      • Mike Engle | June 29, 2020 at 12:44 pm |

        Apples and oranges because the citizen formerly known as Ron Artest went through the court system to legally change his name to (first name) Metta (last name) World Peace. See also Chad Ochocinco f/k/a Johnson.

  • ChrisH | June 29, 2020 at 12:31 pm |

    NASCAR Cup Series champion’s patch:
    I think that style/phrasing choice is a left-over from the previous Series title sponsor…when Cup was ‘brought to you by’ the tobacco products company and the cellular services provider, the wording was along the lines of “X-time Champion”, sometimes displayed with the applicable years if the driver won multiple titles.

  • Kurt | June 29, 2020 at 12:42 pm |

    Can only imagine the Pandora’s box MLB Players Weekend would be this year.

  • Jamie Rathjen | June 29, 2020 at 2:58 pm |

    This was too complicated to put in the Ticker, but the Premier League teams that played in FA Cup quarterfinals yesterday moved their BLM patch to various places to make room for the FA Cup sleeve patch:

    Chelsea and Leicester City: to the back, below the numbers
    Sheffield United and Newcastle United: to the front, Sheffield United centered it with the NHS patch and Newcastle put BLM patch on wearer’s upper left and NHS on upper right
    Manchester City: didn’t move (they don’t wear the FA Cup sleeve patch)
    Arsenal: apparently didn’t wear BLM patch at all

  • Michael Lee | June 29, 2020 at 3:04 pm |

    For a practical matter, I’d like NOB so I can identify players more easily. The Bundesliga has TeamNOB over the Number and PlayerNOB under the number. The NBA could fit a MessageOB under the number without changing the shirt design. Aesthetically it would be crowded and it might be even worse for opening a can of worms. (the players union would never let them replace players’ NOB for an ad; that is crucial for player marketability. Adding a second line however…)
    Also: We already have a controversy related to the Message-On -Back Issue. Ja Morant, who wears #12 re-tweeted a jersey that said “F*ck 12”, and said he would like to wear that. “F*CK 12″ is a slang form of F*ck the police”. He apologized and withdrew his statement. https://twitter.com/ComplexSports/status/1277340789257973766/photo/1

    • Paul Lukas | June 29, 2020 at 3:20 pm |

      I’m not sure I’d call this a controversy regarding this initiative. Obviously, nobody’s going to be allowed to put profanity on their jersey (nor should they be). I’d say this is just a social media dust-up and doesn’t really affect the jersey program one way or the other.

  • Doogie Stardust | June 29, 2020 at 3:37 pm |

    I’ll bite on the NBA NOB. While I support BLM and the players who want to voice their support, doing so on the back of a Nike garment, a company that has benefited from child labor, makes me want to vomit.

    While the Nike problem would still exist, shooting shirts or warm ups might be a better solution. The NBA could even sell these with proceeds going to support organizations that are advancing the cause of civil rights.

    Athletes have every right to speak their minds and support their causes but one of the great things sports gives us is an escape. With all the types of media outlets, players have more outlets than ever to push their causes. While I support the NBA players on this, I’d prefer to see politics stay outside the lines of play and for the players and league to utilize their reach and resources a different way than uniforms.

  • LI Matt | June 29, 2020 at 6:03 pm |

    Morgan Brian’s married name is “Gautrat”. You have an extra U.

    Kealia Watt also debuted her new NOB, in the first game since her wedding.

  • sandy | June 29, 2020 at 6:12 pm |

    Can’t stand fireworks almost as much as the selfish slugs who set them off, scaring the hell out of everyones pets! Like a few is ok, but last year on Canada Day somebody was setting them off for a 3 hours before my wife gave them hell!

    never understood the fascination with them either…i find them quite boring to watch….the Milky Way is a far more appealing way to enjoy the night sky…..

  • DJ | June 29, 2020 at 8:53 pm |

    I was reminded of the Good Flag Bad Flag principles:

    https://nava.org/good-flag-bad-flag/

    The Mississippi proposal above violates three of the five principles. It’s not simple enough for a child to draw from memory. It uses more than three colors, and one not in the basic heraldic colors (navy blue). And it uses writing.

    It’s a nice design, but perhaps not suited for a flag.

  • Dwayne Stern | June 29, 2020 at 10:34 pm |

    I’m with Paul – ‘Black Lives Matter” is all that needs to be on the player’s backs. If there are too many other “slogans” everything just gets lost, and then forgotten. “Black Lives Matter” needs to be driven home hard for a very long time before things start to change.