How NBA stars have long supported 'Black Lives Matter' through their sneakers

Jun 6, 2020
PHOTO: (Left) @JoeGoodmanJr | Twitter, (Right) B/RKicks | Twitter

More NBA players have been joining the "Black Lives Matter" protests.

Stephen Curry, his wife Ayesha, and Golden State Warriors teammates Klay Thompson, Kevon Looney, and Juan Toscano-Anderson took part in march against police brutality around the Northern California city.

Meanwhile, Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard locked arms with other activists in Southeast Portland to condemn the death of George Floyd.

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Even before the recent spate of deaths, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Black Lives Matter as a modern movement has been active ever since the death of Trayvon Martin in 2013. Since then, several black players in the league have championed the movement — with some even campaigning against racial injustice through their shoe game.

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While many sneaker brands have traditionally released a 'Black History Month' edition of their sneakers to commemorate black players' heritage, the kicks below took the extra bold step of directly talking about the Black Lives Matter movement.

Nike KD 6 (Kevin Durant)

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Fresh off his Most Valuable Player season, KD put his superstar status to good use. During a December game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers, the four-time scoring champion wrote "Black Lives Matter" on his KD 6 in memory of the late Eric Garner, a victim of police brutality.

The pair also read Ephesians 3:20 verse: "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."

Unnamed Li-Ning shoe (Dwyane Wade)

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Wade has been bringing social issues to the forefront since his playing days. He was among the vocal supporters of the Trayvon Martin — shot dead— protests, and recently was praised after standing up for his transgender daughter.

In early 2015, the three-time champion debuted a special-edition "Black Lives Matter" sneaker (based on an unknown, unreleased model) with the Chinese brand. His teammate Mario Chalmers even reportedly asked for an autographed pair to be displayed.

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Air Jordan 1 (designer Frank Cooker)

Actually, you don't have to be an NBA player to wear the protest against racism. A Jordan employee laced up the black sillhouette three years ago.

MJ's business manager Estee Portnoy quickly dismissed a potential release via Chicago Tribune: "This was one employee's self-customized pair that he posted on his personal social media account." According to another Nike official, Cooker merely customized his 1s with a "personal strap."

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PHOTO: (Left) @JoeGoodmanJr | Twitter, (Right) B/RKicks | Twitter
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