Nets: Garrett Temple to Wear Interesting Phrase on Jersey for NBA Restart

Garrett Temple #17 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Garrett Temple #17 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Brooklyn Nets SF/SG Garrett Temple won’t be wearing his name on his jersey when the NBA resumes play.

When the NBA agreed to restart its season around the beginning of August, several questions in different buckets still lingered. How would players stay safe? And, if safe, how would players get their voices heard in the current social justice movements from within a bubble?

Nets star Kyrie Irving tried to pierce the restart before it began, mainly for the second reason.

One of the league’s solutions, in an effort to quell that particular drama, involved allowing players to write non-names on the backs of their jerseys, pending NBA approval.

So far, though, we’ve mostly heard stories of rejection (eg, Jimmy Butler’s blank jersey getting the kibosh) or of the status quo (LeBron James is going with his last name, which is “James,” as Shams Charania so helpfully reminded us).

That’s why it was refreshing when Nets veteran Garrett Temple became a success story this weekend, revealing he’d be wearing “Education Reform” on his back when play resumes next month.

Cue the obvious jokes about how it was already hard enough to recognize the Nets’ ragtag roster, but we digress — this is a great next step.

“Education Reform” is among the NBA’s pre-approved choices, and Temple, whose family helped integrate LSU, explained his decision thusly.

"“I’ve seen a lot of guys say putting stuff on their jerseys is really just window dressing and if that’s what they believe then that’s up to them,” Temple told reporters on a conference call. “There are so many different causes to tackle, unfortunately in our community. We in the Black community have been marginalized so much, there’s so many different things that need to change in order to allow us to get better chances. I think education is something that’s very much needed. It’s fallen by the wayside in most cases. The public school system isn’t nearly where it needs to be in a country as powerful as ours."

While we’re not advocating for this to be a permanent and sweeping change to the wardrobe, 2020 is an extraordinary time. Nothing is normal, so why not disturb that normalcy a little further, in the name of good?

If you’re that thrown off by a slightly wonky jersey back, but accept players living on Disney World’s campus and fishing at the resort at face value, then you’re a lost cause.

We look forward to seeing more statement looks shortly when play resumes.

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