NBA players may be allowed to have social justice messages on jerseys

FILE – Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center, Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, in New York. Professional athletes have worn “I Can’t Breathe” messages in protest of a grand jury ruling not to indict an officer in the death of a New York man. AP

NBA players could be allowed to wear jerseys bearing slogans supporting social justice causes or charities instead of their names when the league resumes next month, ESPN reported Sunday.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul, president of the National Basketball Players Association, told ESPN’s The Undefeated website that players were in talks with the league about the initiative.

The report said jerseys could carry messages such as “Black Lives Matter” or “I Can’t Breathe” — two popular rallying cries of the protest movement which erupted after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.

“We’re just trying to continue to shed light on the different social justice issues that guys around our league continue to talk about day in and day out,” Paul told The Undefeated.

“People are saying that social justice will be off of everybody’s mind in Orlando. With these jerseys, it doesn’t go away.”

NBA players have been prominent supporters of the protests which swept across all 50 states following Floyd’s death during his arrest by police on May 25.

Players would also have the opportunity to use the initiative to show support for causes not related to racial injustice and police brutality, Paul said, adding that no player would be forced to display a message.

Paul meanwhile said the idea had received positive feedback from players he had discussed it with.

“The guys I talked to were definitely excited,” Paul said.

“The reason I’m passionate and excited about

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Chase Briscoe holds off Ross Chastain to win Xfinity race at Pocono

LONG POND, Pa. — Chase Briscoe held off Ross Chastain in overtime to win the crash-filled Xfinity Series at Pocono Raceway, the second of three NASCAR races at the track on Sunday.

Pocono became the first track to hold a Truck, Xfinity and Cup race on the same day. Kevin Harvick goes for Cup victories on consecutive days at Pocono.

Chastain, an eighth-generation farmer and fourth-generation watermelon farmer, and Briscoe swapped the lead in a fantastic battle down the stretch until — yes, another caution, the ninth — bunched the field and sent the race into OT.

Briscoe pulled away from there in the No. 98 Ford and won his fourth race of the season, and second in three races.

“Me and Ross, it was pretty fun,” Briscoe said. “He’s always one of the hardest guys to race against.”

Chastain hit the jackpot with his runner-up finish. He won the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash prize awarded to the highest finisher among four eligible drivers.

“It’s tough to be upset with second but I am,” Chastain said. “It’s the memories we take with us, not the money.”

Maybe, but the cash sure does help.

“It’s more money to take home and splurge,” Chastain said.

Jeremy Clements was third, followed by Myatt Snider and Michael Annett.

Pocono turned in a wreck-fest for the second straight race, the track-record tying nine cautions in Trucks was given a run for the money early in Xfinity.

There was a big one just inside 40 laps remaining that collected several checkered flag contenders and shook up a staid race. Stage winners Austin Cindric and Justin Allgaier were caught up in the crash. So were Noah Gragson, the pole sitter, Daniel Hemric and Ryan Sieg.

“I hate being out of the race early, but I also hate

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Denny Hamlin caps marathon day of racing at Pocono with fourth win

LONG POND, Pa. — Round 2 at Pocono went to Denny Hamlin. Hamlin seized the spotlight, specifically in victory lane when Pocono had to set up lights after the race ended in the dark.

Hamlin topped Kevin Harvick on Sunday night to win the second Cup race of the weekend at Pocono Raceway and flip the result of the opener. The 1-2 finish out of each driver is a clear sign two of the best drivers in the game are poised again to make a championship push.

Hamlin says, bring it on.

“We just want to get to the final four with a chance,” Hamlin said.

Hamlin has four wins this season for Joe Gibbs Racing and Harvick has three for Stewart-Haas Racing as they start to separate themselves from the rest of the field.

Hamlin is racking up milestones as he chases his first NASCAR Cup championship. Hamlin has 41 victories to move to 19th on NASCAR’s career list and his sixth win at Pocono matched Jeff Gordon for most at the 2 1/2 mile tri-oval track.

“It’s hard to believe because we went through such a dry spell there in the middle of my career,” Hamlin said about his Pocono results.

Hamlin raced to his fourth victory of the season to cap a wild, marathon day of racing at the track, with three NASCAR races and nightfall in the finale. Pocono doesn’t have lights — but the pit road numbers were lit up and glowed as Hamlin won for the second straight year at Pocono.

Hamlin had a late vibration in his No. 11 Toyota on Saturday that hindered his attempt to catch Harvick down the stretch. About 25 hours later, Hamlin surged past Harvick and built a nearly 3-second lead once the SHR driver got caught up

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