The fight for equality and justice has no jurisdiction. Neither does support of those victimized by senseless acts of terror. Weeks after tens of players donned “I Can’t Breathe” tees, the Portland Trail Blazers’ Nicolas Batum – a native Frenchman – warmed up for tonight’s game versus the Miami Heat wearing a shirt that read “Je Suis Charlie,” the world’s collective cry of defiance in reaction to the massacre at Paris’ Charlie Hebdo headquarters on Wednesday.
Batum grew up and played professionally in France before being drafted by the Blazers as a 19 year-old. He starred for the French national team at September’s FIBA World Cup.
Here he is in advance of Thursday’s contest. The message translates to “I Am Charlie.”
Armed terrorists stormed the offices Charlie Hebdo, a satirical news publication, on Wednesday afternoon and launched an attack justified by perceived disrespect to Islam. The massacre left 12 people dead, including 10 newspaper staffers and two policemen.
Commissioner Adam Silver offered tepid support of players wearing non-league mandated apparel after Derrick Rose sparked the NBA’s unofficial “I Can’t Breathe” campaign. It goes without saying that Batum’s gesture would be met with a similar response by the commissioner.
Kudos to Batum for expressing his views. And we speak for all NBA fans in voicing our support of the sentiment.
What do you think?
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