Derrick Rose Wears 'I Can't Breathe' Shirt In Solidarity With Police Violence Protestors During Bulls Warm-Up
Bulls superstar Derrick Rose wore a t-shirt bearing Eric Garner's last words to New York police officers as they were killing him with an illegal chokehold - "I Can't Breathe" - during the warm-up for last night's Bulls game. [A game they ultimately lost.]
Garner's last words have been reclaimed by protestors across the country to speak out against a grand jury's decision not to indict the officers who killed Garner, as well as police violence against people of color in general.
ESPN called Rose's actions "one of the biggest social statements Rose has made in his professional career," though it also noted that Rose "has been outspoken about trying to control the violence that has gripped various parts of Chicago, his hometown, in recent years."
For their parts, Rose's teammates were supportive. Joakim Noah told the Chicago Tribune Rose planned on wearing the shirt. "He has every right to express his beliefs," Noah said. "I respect Derrick 150 percent. He's definitely making a statement. And that's my guy.
Noah further elaborated:
It's really sad what happened. Police brutality is something that happens. Not every cop is a bad person. Not every black person is a bad person. You can't judge people. But he definitely made a statement by wearing that T-shirt.
Of course, this wouldn't be the Internet if someone tried to piggyback off Rose's remarks in a questionable manner. That someone was Bulls sports writer Sam Smith:
now deleted, can't imagine why pic.twitter.com/kqV8b61s8j— Erik Malinowski (@erikmal) December 7, 2014
To his credit, Smith apologized early Sunday morning for the tweet-kind of.
Apologize for earlier tweet from Bulls game if considered offensive. Certainly didn't intend any political statement. Poor word choice.— Sam Smith (@SamSmithHoops) December 7, 2014