President Obama Applauds Lebron James for Wearing ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-Shirt
Cleveland Chavaliers NBA Star, Lebron James is unarguably one of the most talented basketball players in NBA history and has oftentimes shown an exemplary leadership and generous attitude through his philanthropy involvement as well as sensitivity and consciousness towards raging society issues. So, unsurprisingly as we reported earlier (check here if you missed it), James was one of the first few athletes to have publicly expressed his displeasure with the way the Eric Garner case ended in which the Staten Island Grand Jury declined to indict Officer Pantaleo for putting a chokehold on Garner which eventually led to his death.
However, it was not the social media activity or disapproval statements regarding the police violence incidents that impressed the United States President, Barrack Obama. However, what got Obama’s attention was the gesture of silent protest which he did by wearing the “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirt during a warm-up with clear reference to the last words of Eric Garner, the police brutality victim in New York. Derrick Rose was the first NBA player that wore the “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirt and others including have joined their colleagues in wearing similar-themed T-Shirts to show their solidarity towards police brutality as it relates to Eric Garner.
Obama spoke to People Magazine and said he was pleased to see a lot of celebrities join the conversation about the recent police violence cases. “I think that LeBron did the right thing”, Obama underlines. “We forget the role that Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, and Bill Russell played in raising consciousness. I’d like to see more athletes do that – not just around the issue, but around a range of issues,” he added.
This is not the first time that King James has openly taken a stance against racism. Back in 2012, he got his Miami Heat teammates to wear hoodies in tribute to 17-year old Trayvon Martin, a victim of racial violence that was shot dead in Florida. Additionally, earlier this year the basketball star heavily criticized the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, for his racially abusive remarks.
Photo Credit: Getty, AP