The NBA Bubble has given sports fan good material, unfortunately for some enough of it hasn’t been about actual basketball. James Harden joined the news cycle this week when he showed up at the bubble after needing to take time for a family issue. He arrived wearing a Blue Lives Matter mask. Considering that the NBA’s theme in the bubble for the restart is all about Black Lives Matter and placing social justice messages on jerseys, Harden’s choice was interesting. When the picture went viral, he was criticized for what many thought was a political stance by him. People were understandably upset and confused because Blue Lives Matter is commonly used to dismiss Black Lives Matter the same way as when people say All Lives Matter. When protestors march against police brutality some people counter protest with Blue Lives Matters. So, to see a black man wearing that mask is shocking even if we know Harden is an interesting guy; this was out there even for him.
When questioned about his choice of mask, Harden says he wasn’t trying to make a political statement he wore it because it fit his face and beard and he thought it was cool. He believes in Black Lives Matter and wants to do his part in supporting the mission. In 2020, it is hard to believe that Harden didn’t realize what he was wearing, but he isn’t as active as others on social media. So, while it is not impossible that he didn’t realize or think about it, it does leave you with questions.