NCAA to allow social justice messages on uniforms

The NCAA will allow student-athletes in all sports to wear social justice statements on their uniforms.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel said the decision announced Thursday will give players an opportunity “to express support and voice their opinions.”

The back of the uniform, where a player’s name is traditionally located, may feature names or words “intended to celebrate or memorialize people, events or other causes,” the panel said. The names/words can vary by team member.

Patches worn on either the front or sleeve of the uniform may include nicknames, mascots or logos. While not all team members are required to wear a patch, the patch must be identical for all players who choose to wear it.

The announcement follows a similar move by the NBA, where the list of approved messages includes: Black Lives Matter, Say Their Names and I Can’t Breathe.

Activism among athletes across the sports landscape has increased since the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in May after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.