Thursday night, Duke men’s basketball unveiled a one-word addition to their classic white uniform underneath the number.
Police brutality has resulted in the deaths of numerous Black Americans in 2020, and Duke men’s basketball has thoroughly acknowledged systemic racism in the country. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski released a video statement back in June following nationwide protests of the unjust killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others.
Once students arrived on campus, director of basketball operations Nolan Smith initiated a socially-distanced, outdoor Black Lives Matter protest in Krzyzewskiville, at which Duke athletes, coaches, and staff strongly condemned racial injustices and advocated for meaningful legal change.
The NBA’s activism in the Florida bubble campus likely helped inspire this jersey addition from Duke. The NBA allowed the players on competing teams to select a phrase from a set of approved messages to put on the back of their jersey. Contrastingly, Duke’s team message has a singular message for all players.
With such a simple statement, Krzyzewski and his staff have further demonstrated that Duke men’s basketball does not stand for discrimination of any kind, and is united in the fight to end the mistreatment of people of color in the United States.
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