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Since the rise of movements like Black Lives Matter and the various protests that are connected, many players in the NBA have made a stand in support of the outcry and demands for justice. The Washington Wizards, already established in this regard, hammered home their viewpoint by way of a striking team photo that made a significant statement.
The 2020-21 Washington Wizards squad is actually one of the hottest teams in the NBA after the first portion of the truncated season left the team saddled with injuries and the adjustment of trading away former star guard John Wall for Russell Westbrook. A few shrewd moves since the blockbuster trade are finally beginning to gel and the team is in the hunt for the playoffs by way of a new play-in game format.
Per tradition, Washington and other teams around the NBA take a team photo along with the coaching staff, management corps, and others who make up the other portions of the team that do not hit the court. Usually, these photos are done with non-playing members of the team matching and the players wearing their respective at-home jerseys. However, Washington moved away from that strategy for its 2020-21 season team photo.
Russell Westbrook, Bradley Beal, and the rest of the team all wore Black t-shirts that were emblazoned by the words “accountability,” “equality,” and “justice,” no doubt inspired by the national unrest sparked by the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery in the past, including the Black lives lost to the police or racially-charged violence before them.
From the Wizards’ NBA.com team page:
Accountability from our nation’s law enforcement, politicians, local leadership, and all citizens. Equality for all, an end to systemic racism and any profiling based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or country of origin. Justice as a foundation for a safe and fair society.
“It’s definitely a statement piece for us,” Wizards All-Star guard Bradley Beal explained on Thursday. “Obviously, we’re a team and we do everything together. We’re still citizens of this country and this world. This is us just choosing a few words that we kind of live by, that we kind of hold ourselves to as men and as teammates. Hopefully, the rest of the world can follow suit and do the same as we try to make it a better place.”
Powerful stuff from the Washington Wizards. Check out the photo below.