NBA Player Jrue Holiday Wears Black Lives Matter-Inspired 'Say Their Names' Mask to Game
The New Orleans Pelicans guard launched a line of social-justice themed masks with vitamins and supplements brand Thorne to benefit Black-owned businesses
NBA player Jrue Holiday is continuing the fight for racial justice on the court.
The New Orleans Pelicans guard wore a black “Say Their Names” mask while arriving at Thursday’s game against the Utah Jazz.
“Say Their Names” has become a popular chant at protests against racism and police brutality throughout the country, imploring listeners to remember Black people who have been killed by police including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Holiday, 30, teamed up with vitamins and supplements brand Thorne to create a line of social-justice themed masks, with 100 percent of the proceeds being donated to Black-owned businesses “so we can continue to fight racial injustices,” he says in a statement.
Earlier this month, Holiday pledged the remainder of his 2020 NBA salary – totaling more than $5 million – to create the Jrue and Lauren Holiday fund alongside his wife, former U.S. women's national soccer team player Lauren Holiday.
The fund supports Black-led non-profit organizations and programs, working to balance out socioeconomic inequalities in Los Angeles, New Orleans and Indianapolis, according to the fund’s website. Proceeds from the masks will be donated to businesses through the couple’s fund.
“Now is the time to come together and help others if you have the resources,” Holiday says.
On the new mask line, he notes, “I wanted to continue to raise awareness of our new social justice fund … I thought masks would be cool because that’s the first thing you see when you look at someone now.”
Other players using their salary to create a meaningful impact include Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, who earlier this week pledged $1.5 million to support WNBA players who are choosing to sit out the 2020 season due to coronavirus and racial injustice concerns.
The NBA restarted its regular season on Thursday after going on hiatus in March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, featuring a match-up featuring LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the rival L.A. Clippers.
Players have been staying on the Walt Disney World campus in Orlando under stringent social-distancing restrictions.
“The last few months have been different to say the least, but the bubble is one of the safest places in the country for sure,” Holiday says. “I was a little skeptical about starting back up, but we have a platform like no other being on the national stage and the first league back playing.”
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
• ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.