By Denise Dunbar
In LA, Kobe Bryant and just about all of his Lakers teammates wore black, “I can’t Breathe” T-shirts last night before their game with Sacramento. The shirts echo the growing national outcry against police brutality in the Eric Garner case.
“I think it’s us supporting that movement and supporting each other as well as athletes,” Bryant said after their 98-95 win. “I think the beauty of our country lies in its democracy. I think if we ever lose the courage to be able to speak up for the things that we believe in, I think we really lose the value that our country stands for.
Kobe and his teammates follow other NBA players such as LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and Derrick rose also wore the “I can’t Breath” T-shirts at NBA games to support the family of Eric Garner. Garner died In July after a New York police officer grabbed him in a choke hold. Video shows Garner gasping the words “I can’t breathe” just before he died. After a grand jury declined to indict the police officer, millions across the country are outraged by a grand jury’s decision to indict the police officer.
Bryant also said, “I think it would be a serious disservice to limit this to a race issue. It’s a justice issue. You’re kind of seeing a tipping point right now in terms of social issues. It’s become now at the forefront right now as opposed to being a local issue. …. so when you turn on the TV and watch the news or follow tings on social media, you don’t just see African-Americans out there protesting.