Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is optimistic about what the response will be to the social justice message his team will be showcasing on the back of their jerseys once the season resumes later this month.
In an interview with NBA Insider Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson on Thursday, Cuban said he’s not concerned about the players getting “distracted” by the fans' reactions.
“It will be something that people talk about, but once the games start fans are going to be fans and love watching the games and people who are not fans will want to commentate,” Cuban said, according to Heavy.com. “Players are used to ignoring commentary on social legacy and social media, so I don’t think they are distracted by it at all.”
The Mavericks announced on their team website Thursday that the players will have the word “Equality” written on the back of their jerseys when they head to Florida for the season restart.
Some players, including Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, J.J. Barea and Maxi Kleber, will have the message written in their native languages.
“I think in the conversations that we had as a team and we’ve had individually, equality is something that we know is mighty important, especially right now with what’s going on,” Mavs forward Dwight Powell told the website.
“For some of the guys to put that in their native language kind of lends to the fact that we’re all part of this conversation regardless of where you come from or your race, creed, religion or whatever it may be.”
Cuban said his hope is that the message unifies his players: “... this is such a unique situation, my hope is that the players will become closer and stronger together.”