Both star athletes donned “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts in honor of the late Staten Island, New York, man, who died in July after being put in a choke hold by police officer Daniel Pantaleo. A grand jury decided not to indict Pantaleo last week despite an incriminating video as evidence. Rams players, who paid tribute to Michael Brown/Ferguson with their "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" salute last weekend, also wrote "I Can't Breathe" on their football equipment for their game against Washington on Sunday.
“I can’t breathe” is the phrase Garner said several times while being choked.
Bush, who wore a blue T-shirt with “I Can’t Breathe” scribbled in black marker during warm ups for the Detroit Lions-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, was saddened by Garner’s situation.
"It's just a terrible situation, you know what I mean," Bush told ESPN on Sunday. "It's just unfortunate that this is still happening and that it is still going on and it affects everybody. It doesn't just affect me, it affects everybody and we're all in this together. I just wanted to wear that on my shirt."
He followed Rose, who wore an “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirt during Saturday night’s warm-ups before his Chicago Bulls took on the Golden State Warriors.
"I saw a picture of it, yeah," Bush said of Rose’s T-shirt. "I thought that was really cool. It speaks volumes, you know. We all have, from an athlete standpoint, we all have a voice and I feel we can all be role models and lead by example."
Bulls center Joakim Noah agrees.
"I knew that Derrick was going to put that T-shirt on," Noah told ESPN. "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."
"It's spectacular," James told Cleveland.com of the Bulls point guard’s T-shirt. "I loved it. I'm looking for one."
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(Photos from Left: Rick Osentoski/AP Photo, Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/ TNS/Landov)