There were plenty of protests Monday night against the police chokehold death of New York resident Eric Garner, and a Staten Island grand jury's decision to not indict the officer who choked him. In Berkeley, California, for example, crowds blocked both lanes of I-80 and stopped an Amtrak train in its tracks. But the most public show of dismay, before an NBA game in Brooklyn, was less confrontational.
During warm-ups at the Barclays Center, Cleveland Cavaliers stars LeBron James, teammate Kyrie Irving, and several members of the home team Brooklyn Nets wore shirts with some of Garner's last words, "I Can't Breathe."
James said the shirt was "a message to the family. That I'm sorry for their loss, sorry to his wife. That's what it's about." He added that "everybody else gets caught up in everything else besides who's really feeling it, and that's the family." The game itself — which the Cavs won, 110 to 88 — had some big names in the stands, including Prince William and Duchess Kate, Jay Z and Beyoncé, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
Silver wasn't thrilled with the show of protest. "I respect Derrick Rose and all of our players for voicing their personal views on important issues but my preference would be for players to abide by our on-court attire rules," Silver said. The NBA will probably decide to follow the NFL, though, which declined to slap any penalties on St. Louis Rams players who came on the field with their hands up to protest the case of Michael Brown.