The 76ers have six players who will be wearing social justice messages on the backs of their jerseys when they play the Pacers on Saturday in the first of eight seeding games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla.
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association agreed on social justice messages that can be displayed on the back of jerseys.
Here are the Sixers players and the message they will wear:
Alec Burks: Enough
Furkan Korkmaz: Equality
Raul Neto: Equality
Kyle O’Quinn: Hear Us
Josh Richardson: Say Their Names
Matisse Thybulle: Vote
Before Thursday’s practice, Thybulle explained the reasoning for his message.
“My dad was born and raised in Haiti and as he grew up there, they had a dictator and there is something that not a lot of people in the U.S. are aware of or understand the reality of, and to be raised with that perspective and understand and appreciate what it means to vote and to be a part of a democracy where your opinion matters,” Thybulle said. “It is taken for granted I think a lot and it is something I am passionate about and my family is passionate about and I think a lot of other players are as well and just trying to educate people …”
Richardson explained his chose of “Say Their Names”.
“Just because there are so many instances of things that have happened and I’m just trying to be a vessel for this movement that’s finally happening,” Richardson said. “You can go down the list; Breonna Taylor is at the forefront, George Floyd, Michael Brown, on a smaller scale from where I am from, a kid named Isaiah Lewis was killed by police unarmed. And, to me, there are too many instances of it happening, so I’m just trying to bring awareness, keep being a vessel for what’s happening, and hopefully people pick up on the message.”
Injured Sixers Joel Embiid, Glenn Robinson III, and Raul Neto participated in practice on Thursday, the Sixers said. (Media availability came before practice). Their status for Saturday’s game will be updated by the league’s 5 p.m. deadline on Friday, according to the Sixers.
Embiid missed the final two scrimmages with discomfort in his right calf. Robinson suffered a left hip pointer in the second quarter of the second scrimmage, a 102-97 loss to Oklahoma City, and didn’t play in the final scrimmage. Neto missed the last two scrimmages with lower back tightness.
Brown has said on a few occasions that he would like Embiid to play as many as 38 minutes a game in the postseason. The Sixers will have eight seeding games before the playoffs begin Aug. 17.
The Sixers coach was asked if having Embiid miss the final two scrimmages changes his priority over the eight seeding games to getting the All-Star center close to the 38-minute goal for the playoffs.
“There is going to be zero that I think we would do that puts whatever number I spoke about as it relates to minutes in the playoffs, at any level of risk with Joel, like we hope to be here for a long time,” Brown said. “Incrementally moving him toward a direction that you could understand as it relates to the minutes, I hope to do that, but it will not be anything that’s reckless, or done without direction from the people that we pay to give that type of advice.”