LeBron James Calls Derrick Rose’s Shirt “Spectacular,” Says He’s “Looking For One”

LeBron James and Derrick Rose are fierce rivals on the court. Off the floor, though, the superstars are teammates in the ongoing struggle for justice and progress. After Rose wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt in support Eric Garner during warmups last night, James praised the gesture and said he’s “looking for” a shirt of his own.

Via Chris Haynes of Northeast Ohio Media Group:

On Sunday before practice he was asked about Rose’s protest gesture.

“It’s spectacular,” James said. “I loved it. I’m looking for one.”

When asked if he planned to wear the T-shirt before a game, James was coy, but hinted it could potentially happen.

“It’s possible,” he said. “I’m looking for one. I think it was great.”

He would not say if he would wear the shirt before Monday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets, not too far from where the Garner death occurred. However, he didn’t rule it out.

James has been basketball’s most outspoken advocate on public issues in the past few seasons. He and his Miami Heat teammates donned hoodies in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s killing, and the four-time MVP made his voice heard last week on events surrounding Michael Brown’s death, too.

Actions from Rose and James come after Magic Johnson recently praised the latter for frequently speaking out on hot button social and political issues and called for other players to do the same. Via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin:

“They have to get involved socially,” Johnson said Friday at The Giant of Africa, a benefit organized by Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri to honor the late former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela on the first anniversary of his death. “They have to because it affects them, too. And it affects their families. They grew up in these situations; they must not forget that. They [were] once poor, they went to inner-city schools that didn’t have technology or computers, they didn’t have good books. See, I went through that whole situation. They went through that as well. A lot of their cousins are still going through that, so they must not forget that. I hope that they would do more.

“But you see LeBron. LeBron is a great example of doing a wonderful job. When this first came out, when you think about everything that he stood up for — the Donald Sterling thing, when that mess happened, just now with these young people being shot down unarmed, he’s been right out front, so I’ve got to give him a lot of credit. If he’s out front being the best player, then the other guys usually follow the best guy.”

Athletes aren’t obligated to use their position in the public eye to effect change. Having said that, we’re proud to cover a league in which stars like James and Rose do so. Here’s hoping their influence leads to others following suit during these delicate times.

What do you think?

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