Derrick Rose wore an "I can't breathe" shirt in warm ups on Saturday prior to the Warriors game in support of Eric Garner. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving backed his play Monday night by wearing similar shirts.
I tend to live under a rock when it comes to anything non sports related in nature, and Derrick's wearing of the shirt was actually the first I heard of the incident. If you similarly live under a rock, you can see the video here.
Now the Garner situation happened awhile ago, but what recently transpired was that the cop who committed the crime wasn't indicted on charges causing a new wave of protests. As noted, I tend to live under a rock for all things non sports, but that sure seems like some serious BS that a cop can kill a man who doesn't appear to be threatening him in any way with no consequences and that's not even mentioning the racial component.
Police brutality is a serious issue, and I'm not the right guy to give the topic proper coverage, but I'm happy for Derrick Rose to raise attention to the issue, and his wearing of the "I can't breathe" shirt besides moving me personally, helped move LeBron and Kyrie to do the same a couple of days later.
While Rose is a star in his own right, LeBron is a megastar and will garner even more attention. Hopefully, change can be created from this movement though change will be difficult. In this, Rose and LeBron have both done something that Michael Jordan was afraid to do.
Take a stand on an important social issue, especially a racial one [though I wouldn't think there'd be much racial divide on this one].
Derrick on his stance:
"I'm just happy that people paid attention to it," Rose said. "I think it touched a lot of people because I grew up in an impoverished area like that, and sometimes [situations like that] happen a lot of times. It just touched a lot of people, and I just wanted to make sure that I got my point across."
"I grew up in it," Rose said. "I saw it every day. Not killing or anything, but I saw the violence every day and just seeing what can happen. If anything, I'm just trying to change the thoughts of the kids' minds across the nation, but it starts here."
"I wouldn't say I'm going to do it every time, it's just something that I just felt," Rose said of making such a public statement. "Usually I stay out of politics and police brutality. I'm not saying all cops are bad or anything, I'm just saying what happened them days is uncalled for, and I think that hurt a lot of people. It hurt the nation.
"But my biggest concern is the kids. I know what they're thinking right now. I was one of them kids. When you live in an area like that and you don't got any hope, and police are treating you any way. I'm not saying all police [officers] are treating kids bad, but when you live in an area like that, it gives you another reason to be bad. My biggest concern are the kids and making sure that my son grows up in a safe environment."
Adam Silver had this to say:
"I respect Derrick Rose and all of our players for voicing their personal views on important issues but my preference would be for players to abide by our on-court attire rules,'' Silver said.
Can't help but think that was the wrong message from Silver. Yes, he can't have players turn pregame warm ups into "personal message" time by allowing people to wear anything, but I think it's the wrong time to make that speech. I don't think this had any chance of snowballing into a players wear whatever they want event.
At any rate, good for Derrick for raising awareness. Good for LeBron for following Derrick Rose and raising more awareness [and being willing to be a follower which for a superstar of his caliber isn't so cut and dry as one might think].
Social change requires a mandate from the masses, maybe Derrick's statement can be part of causing that mandate.
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