Cleveland Cavaliers stars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving joined the list of athletes speaking out following the death of Eric Garner and the subsequent decision by a New York grand jury not to indict Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer involved in Garner's death.
According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, a shirt bearing the slogan "I can't breathe" was visible in James' locker before Monday night's game against the Brooklyn Nets:
Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN
LeBron James has a black "I can't breathe" shirt in his locker2014-12-8 23:25:22
Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group photographed James wearing the shirt during warmups:
Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes
Photo: LeBron James during warmups sporting the "I Can't Breathe" t-shirt. #ICantBreathe http://t.co/MyzNjbqy9A2014-12-9 00:19:21
The four-time Most Valuable Player elaborated on his opinion regarding the situation, per Zach Schonbrun of The New York Times:
Zach Schonbrun @zschonbrun
"As a society, we have to do better. No matter what race you are" -- LeBron James #CavsNets2014-12-8 23:45:10
Irving joined his Cavaliers teammate in the silent protest. Bleacher Report's Howard Beck snapped a photo of the All-Star point guard before the game:
Howard Beck @HowardBeck
Kyrie Irving warming up at Barclays Center in #ICantBreathe t-shirt. http://t.co/PMAuGNhTcw2014-12-8 23:41:26
According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, former Cavs guard Jarrett Jack, who now plays with the Nets, provided the shirt to Irving:
Jason Lloyd @JasonLloydNBA
Kyrie Irving wearing the "I can't breathe" t-shirt tonight pregame. Said he got it from Jarrett Jack.2014-12-8 23:37:23
Michael Lee @MrMichaelLee
Jay Z standing with Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams, Jarrett Jack & Alan Anderson. They can't breathe http://t.co/0hsLmodSgZ2014-12-9 01:18:50
On Tuesday, the entire Los Angeles Lakers team had the shirts in their lockers according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times:
Eric Pincus @EricPincus
Lakers have "I can't breathe" shirt in lockers - think whole team2014-12-10 02:22:39
The Lakers tweeted a picture showing Kobe Bryant and company in the shirts:
Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers
Tipping off in moments. #GoLakers http://t.co/YTE9LSqWty2014-12-10 03:22:12
The slogan refers to Garner telling officers he couldn't breathe while one officer placed him in a chokehold.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver shared his reaction to the players' decision, via Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:
Adrian Wojnarowski @WojVerticalNBA
On 'I Can't Breathe,' shirts, Adam Silver tells Yahoo: "I respect Derrick Rose and all of our players for voicing their personal views..."2014-12-9 00:28:54
Adrian Wojnarowski @WojVerticalNBA
Adam Silver continued: "...on important issues but my preference would be for players to abide by our on-court attire rules."2014-12-9 00:30:01
James and Irving aren't the first athletes to signal their support for Garner's cause. Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose wore a similar shirt before Saturday's game against the Golden State Warriors.
Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush also showed his support for the movement prior to Detroit's game Sunday, per USA Today's For The Win:
For The Win @ForTheWin
Reggie Bush wears 'I can't breathe' shirt during warmups - http://t.co/DmwRLulOLP http://t.co/58vQRe5oRk2014-12-7 18:04:53
In a similar vein, members of the St. Louis Rams made the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" gesture before a Week 13 game in solidarity with Michael Brown after he was fatally shot by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. A grand jury chose not to indict Wilson for Brown's killing:
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Rams players won’t be disciplined for their “hands up” gesture http://t.co/GecV7UkzFn http://t.co/ZdBZgVGfdN2014-12-1 17:18:09
On Sunday, James spoke about the movement and the t-shirts it's inspiring.
"It's spectacular," he said, per Haynes. "I loved it. I'm looking for one."
James also posted an Instagram photo in support of Brown after the grand jury decision: