For months, folks have complained about a seeming lack of celebrity engagement in the recently re-invigorated social justice movement around police brutality. But following last week’s protest by members of the St. Louis Rams, it seems that more athletes and entertainers are raising their voices for justice.
Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose warmed up for Saturday’s game against the Golden State warriors in a black shirt with the words, “I can’t breathe” across his chest. Local radio host Dan Bernstein took to Twitter to suggest that Rose lacked the ability to understand the statement he was making (Bernstein was soundly criticized by our own Jamilah Lemieux.)
Though Rose declined post-game interviews, teammate Joakim Noah voiced his support and mentioned that he knew about the plan ahead of time.
"I think a lot of people feel that way," said Noah. "It's really sad what happened. Police brutality is something that happens.
"Not every cop is a bad person. Not every black person is a bad person. You can't judge people. But he definitely made a statement by wearing that T-shirt."
LeBron James, who has quickly become one of the league’s true ‘race men,’ commented that the shirt was “spectacular” and added “I’m looking for one.” As the Cleveland Cavaliers will face off with the Brooklyn Nets at a Monday night game to be attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka “Will and Kate”), one wonders if James will find one in time for the game.
Earlier that day, hundreds of protestors took to the streets of Los Angeles for the ‘BlackOut Hollywood’ march against police brutality, where participants acknowledged the Garner verdict and also the Friday night death of a homeless man who was gunned down by LAPD at a busy intersection. Participants included actors Tyrese Gibson, Brandon T. Jackson and Kevin McCall, reality star Masika Tucker and Quincy Brown.
On Sunday, Reggie Bush—another pro-athlete who has found his voice in regards to social justice issues in the past year—practiced in his own “I can’t breathe” shirt, as did Johnson Bademosi of the Cleveland Browns. Davin Joseph of the Rams wrote the phrase on his cleats.
John Legend and Chrissy Tigen, also took a bold stance this weekend, paying for at least one food truck to feed hungry protestors in New York City.
— Kimchi Taco (@KimchiTruck) December 7, 2014
The socially conscious couple offered food to activists in Union Square for three hours, according to Tiegen’s Twitter account.