The non-indictment of the police officer who killed Eric Garner has sparked nation-wide protest. Several NBA and NFL players have shown their support for the calls for justice by wearing “I Can’t Breath” shirts before their games.
The Cleveland Browns' Johnson Bademos carries #EricGarner's memory on his back. #ICantBreathe #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/zusAEiqKeY
— Khaled Bey (@KhaledBeydoun) December 7, 2014
Reggie Bush (Detroit #Lions) Wears "I Can’t Breathe" On Shirt During Warmups. http://t.co/bAJFhEwQfW @BeforeFamePics #EricGarner #Ferugson
— Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) December 7, 2014
R.I.P Eric Garner pic.twitter.com/i84grny7pR
— Davin Joseph (@DavinJoseph75) December 7, 2014
Respect to Derrick Rose. pic.twitter.com/ogDrfxH8Ol
— Chris Martin Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) December 7, 2014
There used to be a time when professional athletes were very outspoken regarding social matters that affected their community. Greats like Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Jackie Robinson, Tommie Smith, John Carlos and others used their voice and influence as athletes to call for political and social change. As we moved into the post-civil rights era, athletes began to take a more passive approach – choosing to avoid controversial issues and politics. With the invention of social media, professional athletes are connected to the world more than ever and with that we are seeing more and more speak out against issues that plague our society. I think it’s great that these guys and others have decided that in a time where we seem to be regressing as a country when it comes to civil rights, they are going to use their voice and influence as conduits for awareness and change. I hope more and more guys decide to take the same approach.