Heat star Jimmy Butler reveals why he’s leaving the back of his jersey blank
Butler, the Heat’s best player, believes leaving the back of his jersey empty will represent who he would be if he wasn’t a professional basketball player:
Jimmy Butler says he won’t wear anything on the back of his jersey. Not even his name. Wants it blank as his own social justice message. He feels like it represents who he would be if he weren’t a basketball player. pic.twitter.com/2I4vJUpL7x
— Clay Ferraro (@ClayWPLG) July 14, 2020
During the NBA hiatus, Butler told a story about one of his first experiences with racism when he was just 16 years old.
The Heat star was in Houston with a friend when a white man and his son said some hurtful things:
“A white man and his son, who is no older than maybe 6 — I’m walking with my brother, and we hear the kid turn around and say, ‘Hey, Dad, those are those n-words that you are telling me about,'” Jimmy Butler told Heat reporters in June.
“The kid doesn’t know any better. My initial reaction was to turn around and look at the father’s face. I’m 6-[foot]-6, and my brother is 6-[foot]-1, and he’s probably 6-foot, and yeah, he was intimidated by me. But the first thing that popped in my head was, ‘You had to [have] taught him that.’ [The kid] doesn’t know that. My daughter, I have to teach her that the stove is hot. You are choosing to teach your kid hate.”
Butler is stressing the importance of staying unified. While many players are planning to put messages on their jerseys, some big names such as LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Joel Embiid have chosen to keep their jerseys with their last names.
The Heat have already clinched a spot in the 2020 playoffs. With that said, Butler and Co. will use the eight seeding games to knock off the rust after such a long layoff.