Professional basketball star Steven Adams has chosen to promote te reo Māori in the NBA.
The NBA has agreed to include social justice messages on players' jerseys in light of the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States and New Zealand's Steven Adams has chosen the te reo Māori phrase 'Kia Kaha' as his contribution to the kaupapa.
The NBA said it was Māori for 'Stay Strong' aka 'Power to the People'.
Several of Adams' teammates in the Oklahoma City Thunder have also chosen messages in languages that have meaning for them.
PLAY HARD.— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) July 25, 2020
STAY TOGETHER. pic.twitter.com/eCqSp5K5SV
Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari who is from Italy chose 'Giustizia' which is Italian for justice. Canadian teammate and guard Luguentz Dort has Haitian whakapapa and selected 'Respekte Nou' which means 'Respect Us', while new player on the Thunder roster forward Kevin Hervey chose the Hebrew word for peace, 'Shalom'.
The NBA and its players association have approved 29 different messages which NBA.com says are intended to keep the focus on issues such as police brutality and systemic racism. These messages include phrases such as 'Black Lives Matter', 'Say Their Names' and 'Love Us'.
The NBA has not officially restarted after Covid-19 impacted the season, however, teams based at Disney World in Florida have been involved in warm-up games.
The Thunder dominated the Boston Celtics in the first of their warm-ups 98-84, with Adams scoring 17 points and seven rebounds in the first half of that game.
— NBA (@NBA) July 24, 2020