Nets: Kevin Durant’s Influence Within Philadelphia Union Already Felt With Uniform Statement

Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets speaks (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets speaks (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) /

Kevin Durant is already having a significant influence on the Philadelphia Union.

The “MLS is Back” tournament in Orlando announced the return of American sports amid the coronavirus pandemic, and a few teams are admirably using this platform as an opportunity to speak out against racism.

The Philadelphia Union came out for Thursday’s fixture against New York City FC with the names of the black victims of police brutality on the back of their jerseys.

We’re not giving full credit to Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant, who purchased a stake in the club a few weeks back, for this moving gesture, but it’s quite evident that his influence is already being felt.

The Union revealed that the players’ surnames on the back of the kits were replaced by the victims of police brutality, including (Eric) Garner, (Alton) Sterling, (Breonna) Taylor, (Tamir) Rice and (John) Crawford. Goalkeeper Andre Blake was seen with the last name of George Floyd on the back of his shirt.

Additionally, the jerseys sported the message: “One name, too many” at the bottom in unanimity with the Black Live Matter movement and ongoing civil unrest that was sparked by the murder of George Floyd in late May. Philadelphia went public with these new shirts, which were reportedly kept a secret from MLS to ensure that the club would be able to carry through with its plan, in a powerful tweet.

It’s clear that the broadcasting team of Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman were caught off guard by the jersey reveal, and that only confirms the Union kept quiet about their plotted stand against racial injustice.

Durant has long been a vocal proponent of protesting systemic racism, so we wouldn’t be surprised if he had a major say in Philadelphia’s powerful demonstration before kickoff on Thursday.

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