Jimmy Butler would like to keep the nameplate on the back of his jersey blank to underscore that he would be "no different than anybody else of color" if he weren't an NBA player.
Butler said he hopes the NBA will allow him to wear no message at all.
"I have decided not to," Butler said during a Tuesday video call with reporters. "With that being said, I hope that my last name doesn't go on there as well. Just because I love and respect all the messages that the league did choose, but for me, I felt like with no message, with no name, it's going back to, like, who I was. And if I wasn't who I was today, I'm no different than anybody else of color and want that to be my message in the sense that just because I'm an NBA player, everybody has the same right, no matter what, and that's how I feel about my people of color."
The NBA has yet to sign off on his request.
"Not just yet," he said. "Not just yet. I'm hoping I get that opportunity, though. I really am."