CHICAGO — For once, the story around Derrick Rose has nothing to do with basketball or his health. It’s about something bigger.
Before the Chicago Bulls‘ Saturday night game against the Golden State Warriors, Rose came out of the tunnel for warm-ups wearing a shirt that read “I Can’t Breathe.” It was a reference to last week’s non-indictment of a New York City police officer in the choking death of Eric Garner.
The shirt was an unusually bold political statement from the normally soft-spoken Rose, speaking volumes without saying any words at all. He declined to address reporters after Saturday’s game, but spoke at length at the team’s practice facility on Monday about his decision to wear the shirt and why the Garner story resonated with him.
“I had the shirt made, my best friend Randall brought it to the game, and I decided to wear it,” Rose said. “It wasn’t any one [person’s] idea, I just thought I wanted to support something that happened. That’s what made me wear the shirt.”
Sean Highkin covers the Chicago Bulls for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @highkin
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Buy your own “I Can’t Breathe” shirt here with all proceeds going to the family of Eric Garner