The NBA plans to finish the 2019-2020 season starting in late July at Disney World in Orlando

By Jason Duaine Hahn
June 30, 2020 01:47 PM
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Walt Disney World
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With the NBA set to make its long-awaited return to television in July, the league is ensuring social justice issues won't stray far from national attention during its games.

According to reports from ESPN and USA Today, the NBA plans to plaint "Black Lives Matter" on the sidelines of all three courts they will use at the Walt Disney World Resort when the 2019-2020 season resumes in late July.

"Black Lives Matter" — which has recently been the focus of the nationwide protests against police brutality following George Floyd's death on May 25 — will appear in front of the scorer's table and broadcast booth, USA Today reported.

The NBA did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

As discussions about resuming the season began, some players disagreed with the timing of the restart. Players like Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors said resuming the NBA season could eclipse efforts by protestors to spark social justice reform.

"All Black Lives Matter" mural
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"It's terrible timing. But that's been 2020 for us," VanVleet told ESPN. "We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand."

"Morally, yes, that makes sense. But life goes on," he said, adding that he ultimately decided to participate in the restart.

There are 22 teams set to meet at Disney World to resume the NBA season on July 31 (eight teams from each conference in current playoff positions, as well as six teams that are at most six games behind the eighth seed in their conferences).

These include the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards, who will all return from the Eastern Conference.

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From the Western Conference, the teams will be the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns.

According to The Athletic, the NBA is also considering letting players replace their last name on jerseys with a statement about social justice.

For example, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James could place "BLM" on the backside of his jersey where his last name is typically located.