Horford joined Sixers teammate Mike Scott in criticizing the league for limiting the options available to the players (via Cameron Fields of USA TODAY):
“I kind of understand and share Mike Scott’s sentiment a little bit,” the Sixers big man said. “Even though this is a great platform for us to promote things, I think that maybe having the ability to say what you would want to say or kind of leave it like that. But at the end of the day, everyone has their own — makes their own decision, whatever they feel is right, whatever they want to do.”
Al Horford and Mike Scott are hardly alone in their criticisms.
LeBron James said Saturday he would not display a social justice message despite having previous ideas for what he might have put on the back of his jersey.
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart said he wanted to replace his own name with “I Matter,” though that was not one of the options offered by the league.
The NBA and NBPA had discussions with respect to how best to promote equality in Orlando amid months of social unrest and protests following the death of George Floyd in May. Clearly, not all players feel their voices would be properly represented by opting for one of the allowed statements.
In the meantime, Horford will hope to provide the Sixers with playmaking, whether he is reinserted into the starting lineup or continues to play with the second unit.