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Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose wore a “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt ahead of the game against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night in support of Eric Garner.
Garner died in July after a police officer placed him in a chokehold while he was being arrested for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.
A grand jury decided on Wednesday that it would not indict the officer for Garner’s death while a video-tape was released of the arrest which shows Garner gasping and saying, “I can’t breathe” during the fatal encounter.
Thousands have since protested across the country after the decision, and Rose has made the biggest social statement of his career thus far by wearing the t-shirt.
The Bulls star did not speak to the media after the game but his teammates all supported his move and revealed that he told his close friends and family about what he had planned to do.
“I knew that Derrick was going to put that T-shirt on,” Bulls center Joakim Noah said. “I think he has every right to express his beliefs. He told me that he was going to wear it. I respect Derrick a lot. I think he’s definitely making a statement by wearing it. That’s my guy.”
Bulls power forward Taj Gibson shared Noah’s sentiment and backed Rose’s decision to take a stance, while Magic Johnson spoke earlier this week of the importance of sports stars standing up and becoming more involved socially.
— SB Nation (@SBNation) December 7, 2014