Updated: December 10, 2014

NORTH CAROLINA-(BASN)-I Can’t Breathe!!!


The entire world has been put in a chokehold, as we slowly grasp for air, after there were no indictments in the murder of Eric Garner, who died in a July confrontation with the NYPD and Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager, who was fatally shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, allegedly with his “Hands Up.”

Yes, it’s a difficult to breathe during times like these.

Matter of fact, it feels like Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall trying to breathe after running a Fly pattern with two cracked ribs and a collapsed lung.

Oh, yes!!brandon-marshall-e1417808479270

It is difficult to breathe like trying to run a 2-minute offense with a bad case of asthma in Denver, Colorado at Mile High Stadium in December.

And so, while we desperately try to find some oxygen, we, all, become faint and light headed, as the sports world and the political world meet face-to-face, as the smoke from the burning buildings and tear gas from the “Riot police” linger in the atmosphere, which causes all of us to choke.

“I Can’t Breathe!!!”

Someone, anyone, please, offer me mouth to mouth resuscitation. (CPR)

It’s like a scene from Do The Right Thing-Radio Raheem!!!

spike24n-3-webI Can’t Breathe!!!

Yes, art imitates life!!!

But, for Christ sake….

“I Can’t Breathe!!!”

And, shockingly, as the world watched an innocence man die at the hands of injustice, through a different lens, they viewed the same tragic event with different eyes.

He is guilty.breathe

He shouldn’t have resisted.

He was a huge man.

I saw a “demon..a hulk..”

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we try to deceive…

“I Can’t Breathe!!!”

After all of this, as an athlete, what do you do, what do you say?

Especially, after “white” commentators continue to describe you as a “BEAST,” “A MONSTER,” and a “HORSE” after a touchdown, a Slam-Dunk, or a vicious tackle.

Do you play or protest?

Or, do you simply remain silent, pretending that the killing of an innocence Black man at the hands of the cops doesn’t affect you and your children because you have a million dollar contract and some colorful Nike shoes.


Seriously, what are you going to do?

Play or Protest?

I mean, the chants are getting louder outside the arena.

“Shut it down; shut it down, Eric Garner, Michael Brown!!”

Are you going to pretend not to hear the cries of the people?

Are you embarrassed? Do you really think you can drown out the voices of the people with your Beats by Dre headphones?

“I Can’t Breathe!!!”

Feel the pressure around your chest….

lebronjames_120914-thumb-640xauto-12041“I Can’t Breathe!!!”

With over 17, 732 people at the Barclay Center, along with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the duke and duchess of Cambridge, Will and Kate-in the audience, what do you do?

I know you are nervous?

Are you afraid you’re going to be fired? Or lose your endorsements?

“I Can’t Breathe!!!”

The chants are getting louder, eating at your conscience.

“No Justice, No Peace!!!”

Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose was bold enough to do it along with the Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush.

Plus, the St.Louis Rams, whose Rams Park is about 8 miles from Ferguson, showed their solidarity to the family of Michael Brown, when Kenny Britt and four other wide receivers posed with their Hands Up during the pre-game intro.

Even some players from the dysfunctional football team in Washington, DC showed that they were down for the “cause” despite not boycotting their own team’s racist nickname.

Time is ticking.jayz-and-nets-472x615

You Can’t Ignore It.

And without hesitation, Cleveland Cavs stars Lebron James and Kyrie Irving and several Brooklyn Nets players, including Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams,  Jarrett Jack, and Alan Anderson, bravely displayed their T-shirts with the phrase “I Can’t Breathe” during the pre-game warm-ups, which were the last words spoken by Eric Garner before his unfortunately demise.

And, to be honest, when I saw Lebron James sporting his “I Can’t Breathe” tee-shirt, I felt a “little” “choked-up” as well.

Why? Because, the King has spoken.

Now, the ball is in our court.

Eric D.Graham, a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where he received a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio and Television, with a minor in History, with an emphasis in African-American Studies, is currently the Managing Editor of Black Athlete Sports Network, where his articles appear daily along with his controversial cartoon character Bobbee Bee “The Hater.” Graham can be reached at lbiass34@yahoo.com or go to www.bobbeethehater.blogspot.com

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