Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum became the latest NBA star to use his warm-up shirt as an act of social activism Thursday, honoring victims of a French terror attack by donning a shirt that read "Je Suis Charlie."
The slogan, which translates to "I Am Charlie," was captured by Erik Gundersen of The Columbian before Thursday's game against the Miami Heat in Portland:
Erik Gundersen @blazerbanter
Nicolas Batum's warm up shirt tonight http://t.co/HYtkgXR3dH2015-1-9 02:17:34
Earlier this week, gunmen shot and killed 12 people at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, injuring at least four others. The website for the satirical magazine, which had generated controversy due to its depiction of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, has gone black and currently only depicts the "Je Suis Charlie" slogan.
The phrase has been trending on Twitter since the attacks. Batum, a native of France, tweeted the following Wednesday as many people took to Twitter to show their support for the victims and their families:
Nicolas Batum @nicolas88batum
De plus en plus indigné par la connerie humaine... Grosse pensée à toutes les familles et victimes de cette horreur #CharlieHebdo2015-1-7 17:15:25
This is the second time this season a major crisis has led to warm-up shirts becoming political statements in the NBA. Last month, a number of players—including Derrick Rose and LeBron James—wore "I Can't Breathe" shirts in support of the family of Eric Garner, the New York man who died after being placed in a chokehold by a police officer in July.
Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter