In what has become a growing trend in professional sports, another high-profile group of NBA stars took to the court in t-shirts referencing the death of Eric Garner, a man who was put in a chokehold by a police officer for 19 seconds in Staten Island. Garner, who was asthmatic, died following the July incident, with his last words recorded on camera: “I can’t breathe.”
On one side of the court, the Brooklyn Nets were warming up at home. On the other end, the Cleveland Cavaliers were preparing to face the home team. But there was some solidarity shown with members of both sports sporting t-shirts with Garner’s final words.
While Comic Sans might not have been the best choice of font, the message is just as strong and can be heard just as clearly as the protests involving Michael Brown in Ferguson and those involving Eric Garner in New York City continue to permeate into the world of sports.
Kyrie Irving told reporters that he was in touch with Jarrett Jack, who played with Cleveland last year, and they agreed to wear the shirts.
Similar to the poor font choice, Kevin Garnett probably shouldn’t have smiled here:
Brooklyn 5 pic.twitter.com/hLSPUSM530
— NetsDaily.com (@NetsDaily) December 9, 2014
It was odd seeing a group of St. Louis Rams players in the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” pose a little while back. These types of public protests by athletes are becoming more commonplace very rapidly, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver isn’t expected to fine players for violating on-court attire regulations.
When asked why he wore the shirt, LeBron James said the following:
“I don’t know. It’s not for us to figure out. It’s just for us to understand what we’re going through as a society. I’ve been forwarded over and over about what’s been going on. This is more of a notion to the family more than anything. As a society we have to do better. We have to be better for one another no matter what race you are. But it’s more of a shoutout to the family more than anything because they’re the ones who should be getting the energy and effort.”
Whether you’re for or against the three-word movement that supports Garner and all victims of police brutality, there’s no doubt that photos of an icon like LeBron James wearing that shirt will rapidly spread the word.