Am I Next

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Powell Voices Displeasure with NBA’s “Cookie Cutter” Jersey Initiative

Norman Powell is one of the many players who has voiced disappointment over the NBA’s latest initiative to speak out on matters pertaining to social justice.

The NBA plans to replace player names on the back of jerseys with a strict list of 29 approved messages. Those messages include “Black Lives Matter”, “equality”, “vote”, and “justice”. The Raptors guard did not shy away from voicing his opinion on what he believed were the “cookie cutter” choices that the NBA and NBPA agreed upon.

“I wish there wasn’t even a list. It’s a topic where it’s freedom of speech, and you’re taking your name off the back of your jersey to put something that matters to you, that speaks volumes to how you view things and your approach to life. You shouldn’t be boxed in to say you can only say this much, or this is okay for you to say. You shouldn’t be boxed in on a topic like this,” Powell said in a conference call.

Powell has chosen to wear “Black Lives Matter” on his jersey, but stated that he would have preferred to wear “Am I Next.”

“I was really upset about the whole change where it was really limited. The list was very cookie-cutter. It doesn’t really touch the topics of what we’re trying to achieve here. With that being said, I chose Black Lives Matter — it was the most radical that spoke to where I stand,” Powell said.

Powell has looked to use his platform to preach anti-racism and keep the conversation surrounding social injustice going. He will be donating all proceeds on his “Understand the Grind” clothing line towards charity and will look to personally match the donation.

“We got a lot of guys in this league that have been using their voice during this time, and we were really excited about being able to change our last names and to put a quote there that represents where we stand and what we want to say, and how we feel about this,” he added.

Credit to Powell for speaking out!

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