The liveliest places cannot breathe following the outcome of the Eric Garner decision.
The Barclays center, anticipating royalty appearance during Monday night’s game, was outlined with hundreds of protesters angered by the recent Eric Garner and Mike Brown verdicts. Before the Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers took the court, players brought the protesters message inside the arena. LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and several Brooklyn Nets ballers warmed up in black t-shirts engraved with Eric Garner’s final words, “I can’t breathe”.
The New York Post accounts a brief interview with LeBron James where he stated:
“This is more of a motion to the family more than anything. As a society, we have to do better. We have to be better for one another, no matter what race you are. But it’s more of a shoutout to the (Garner) family more than anything. They’re the ones that should be getting all the energy and effort.”
The streets erupted in cheers when the protesters heard they had NBA players support. Our country was built upon fighting for change. We currently have a system which lacks equality and needs fixing. We need justice, we need respect, and we need equality. We must fight for change and while I’m unclear of the exact route to achieve change, the universal support in this movement will lead to knowledge and progress. Racial equality is not a new problem, nor one person’s problem, this is universal.
By players wearing these shirts during warmup, the problem reaches beyond state lines and brings it to a necessary global scale. Notables taking a stand remind us this is not a local issue, it’s a human issue. Beyond NYC and Ferguson, all ages, races and social statuses need to witness the destruction happening in these cities and importantly to black lives.
Brooklyn Nets guard Jarrett Jack, who also wore the ‘I can’t breathe’ shirt stated to the NY post:
“When you believe in something and you stand for something, you deal with whatever comes with it,” he said. “I think people knew that going in and we understood it. If (a fine) comes our way, that’s fine.”
Stand up. Realize this is far beyond our communities and we’re bounded by a judicial system and policing system which is not equal. We have to grasp without changes, we will not be able to breathe. From the NBA and beyond, let us continue to take a stand against the racial inequality suppressing us down.
photos via Instagram/ Follow Melanie T: @Melanietir