By Ellen Chlumecky
On Sunday Reggie Bush, took a stand during pregame warm ups before the Detroit Lions’ game against Tampa Bay. During pregame warm ups, Reggie Bush showed up in a blue Detroit Lions shirt with “I Can’t Breathe” written in black marker. This statement was signifying the last words of Eric Garner, the New York man who died while being placed in a choke hold while the police attempted to arrest him.
Bush had a great deal to say about the statement during the pregame warm ups. Bush stated that the situation is a terrible and unfortunate one and he is disgusted that these types of events are still happening in our society today. He continues by saying that it does not just affect a few people, it affects everybody. He explains that we are all in this situation together and it’s not just one person’s problem.
While Bush did not run the decision by coach Jim Caldwell, but Caldwell did support his statement. Caldwell said that he would be a hypocrite if he didn’t believe in the cause. He stated that some of the Dr. King non-violent protests that occurred are part of the reason he is standing there today. He supported Bush in his decision to wear the t-shirt.
Reggie Bush is not the only one makes a statement. The day before fellow athlete, Derrick Rose wrote an “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt in pregame warm ups before the Bulls’ game on Saturday night against the Golden State Warriors. Bush admitted to seeing it and being impressed with the action. Bush believes that because as professional athletes, they have a voice and can use it to act as role models and lead by example. Cleveland Browns cornerback Johnson Bademosi warmed up in a shirt with the message. St. Louis Rams offensive lineman Davin Joseph wore the same message on his cleats.
This is not Reggie Bush’s first statement on the topic. It has been a continuous trend of protest for Bush. He took to Twitter last month after Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was not indicted by a grand injury in the killing of Michael Brown. Bush was not shy about expressing his opinion on the subject. Bush believes that the system seemed flawed and the situation was not handled well. Bush expressed his disdain and how the whole situation made him sick to his stomach. However, even though he was upset with the situation, he explained that people rioting was not the answer and was embarrassed because of the way people were handling the situation.
While most people don’t tend to mix sports and serious events going on in the world, these athletes want to take a stand. As Bush said, they are people who fans respect and listen to, if they make it clear that violence and riots are not the answer, maybe they will have an impact. The death of Eric Garner is a huge loss and tragedy. Violent protests are not the way to solve problems. However, these athletes want to stand up for those who can’t, by protesting peacefully.