LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, More Wear 'I Can't Breathe' Shirts Before Cavs-Nets

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2014

USA Today

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:

Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group photographed James wearing the shirt during warmups:

The four-time Most Valuable Player elaborated on his opinion regarding the situation, per Zach Schonbrun of The New York Times:

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:

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:

Four members of the Nets, Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams, Jarrett Jack & Alan Anderson, joined rapper Jay Z to pose for a picture showcasing their shirts via Michael Lee of the Washington Post:

On Tuesday, the entire Los Angeles Lakers team had the shirts in their lockers according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times:

The Lakers tweeted a picture showing Kobe Bryant and company in the shirts:

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: 

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.

Dec 6, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) prior to a game against the Golden State Warriors at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

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:

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:

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:

As a member of the Miami Heat in 2012, he and Dwyane Wade helped organize their teammates to speak out following the death of Trayvon Martin.    

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