LA Clippers center Montrezl Harrell wore a social justice message on his sneakers.
LA Clippers center Montrezl Harrell made a statement in more ways than one in his return to the court for the team yesterday. The Sixth Man of the Year finalist wore a custom pair of Reebok Questions with a message calling for justice for Breonna Taylor in the Clippers’ game one playoff matchup against the Dallas Mavericks.
The NBA has been at the forefront of professional sports in helping to spread social justice messages during the return to play in Orlando. Each court is emblazoned with a “Black Lives Matter” message, players have been allowed to wear social justice phrases above their numbers on their jerseys, and interviews have allowed time for players to speak on issues that they feel passionate about.
Clippers players have taken part in speaking out by wearing messages on their jerseys, and speaking out in public continuing a tradition of the organization being on the right side of history in recent times.
Harrell himself had previously announced that he would wear “How Many More?” above his jersey number with a powerful message on his social media:
"“Still using the word you people lmao like we a f*****g object that u can purchase from a store. This world. Don’t us people bleed like you, don’t us people breathe the same air as you do. But yet again the color of our skin tells the story right. That’s why on my uniform I have replaced my name with “HOW MANY MORE”"
Harrell continued to call attention to social justice issues with his custom sneakers in game one of the Clippers’ opening-round playoff series against the Mavericks. His Reebok Questions were custom decorated with Taylor’s likeness and name as well as the “Say Her Name” slogan that has come to be associated with calls for justice.
Taylor was a 26-year-old emergency medical technician who was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove on March 13, 2020. The officers were executing a “no-knock” search warrant at the time and used a battering ram to enter Taylor’s apartment, shortly before firing multiple shots, killing her as she lay in her bed.
The killing of Breonna Taylor has inspired protests from Louisville to around the United States, calling for justice. Louisville has since banned no-knock warrants and fired one of the officers involved in the shooting, but many people believe that is not enough.
Taylor’s family recently renewed their pleas for justice, more than five months after her death. “Right now in Louisville people are still waiting at the 150 days for these officers to be arrested and charged,” the family’s lawyer, Ben Crump, said.
NBA players, including Harrell, continue to help bring awareness to the cries for justice for Breonna Taylor. From “Say Her Name” messages on jerseys, to custom sneakers, to speaking out in interviews, NBA stars have shown the power of what their platform can provide.