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NCAA approves uniform change to allow statements of social justice by players

College programs in all sports that want to promote the Black Lives Matter movement or make any other statement of social justice are no longer limited by the NCAA rules.

Some sports were previously prohibited by law from making statements about in-game apparel. Others had no rule regarding the problem.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel met by video conference last week and approved a rule that applies to all sports, allowing a 2¼ square inch patch that can be applied to the front or sleeve of a uniform. The rule does not require that all team members wear the patch of a team of their choice, but they must be identical.

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In addition, players in the area on the back of a uniform jersey that would normally contain the player’s nameplate can make individual choices about statements they would like to make.

There is likely to be some controversy among athletic fans, such as in professional sports, if and when colleges, teams and athletes choose to make such statements on their game kit.

This move started with American football players in Germany, especially the midfielder of the US national team Weston McKennie van Schalke 04, and spread in some form to teams in the English Premier League and the NWSL, MLS, WNBA and Major League Baseball . The NBA will play again on Thursday, with Black Lives Matter on the main field used for competition.

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