Above are a few basketball players wearing the famous last words of Eric Garner , "I can't breathe," during pre-game warm-ups. This seems to be the latest trend in the sports world. Many players wear these shirts to show support for Eric Garner and the anti-police violence protests. Derrick Rose, the first NBA Basketball player to wear one of these shirts, released a statement saying:
"I grew up and I saw it every day, not killing or anything like that, but I saw the violence every day. Just seeing what can happen. If anything, I'm just trying to change the kids' minds across the nation and it starts here. I'm a parent now."
Many celebrities, unconsciously, promote negative and hurtful behavior towards others or use their stardom for selfish reasons. I think it's amazing how Rose is using his powerful celebrity platform to send a positive message to his fans and young kids who look up to him.
I think the "I can't breathe" is a powerful symbol because it represents the working lower class feeling suffocated by law enforcement. They feel smothered by racial stereotyping. They feel threatened and they're afraid for their loved ones and themselves. Derrick Rose, who grew up surrounded by this type of relationship with law enforcement, mentions he's "a parent now" and he just wants to make sure the world is a better place for his children to live in. "I can't breathe" sounds almost like a plea for help. The protesters need help changing America.