The Manchester Township High School Board of Education told girls basketball standout and North Carolina commit Destiny Adams she could not wear a Black Lives Matter shirt during pregame warmups during a recent school board meeting.
So, in an effort to make their voices heard, she and her teammates put Black Lives Matter on everything else.
Adams and the majority of her teammates donned Black Lives Matter sweatshirts prior to Manchester’s season-opener against Jackson Liberty High School. Adams also wore socks that said Black Lives Matter and wrote Black Lives Matter. One teammate joined Adams in wearing the socks, while another wrote Black Lives Matter with a black marker on her sneakers.
“They told me no, but that can’t really silence me, so we needed to find a way around it,” Adams told Danny LoGiudice of the Asbury Park Press on Tuesday night. “This was our only way.”
Adams, who is Black, went before the Manchester Board of Education last week, delivering a speech on why she felt she should be allowed to wear the shirt. However, the board ruled that shirts worn during pregame warmups must only reflect the school name — a decision Adams thinks was made before the board listened to a word she had to say.
“I was hurt because I took my time to write a speech and try to make them understand my view, because I know it’s hard because they don’t experience it,” Adams said, per LoGiudice “For them to not even discuss it with each other … it was hurtful. It didn’t sit right with me.”
Adams attended the meeting with her father, Dennis, who is the principal at Manchester, and her mother, Lisa, a lawyer. Both parents spoke along with their daughter, but in the end, Destiny’s proposal was not even voted on by the board of education.
According to the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA), there are standards for in-game uniform attire, but pregame uniform and warmup attire falls under the discretion of the member school.
“I just want them to understand why I wanted it on the back of my jersey, not just for them to say yes,” Adams said. “If they choose to go back and say yes, good for them, but if not, awareness is still being brought.”