Derrick Rose’s “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt may have scored well with some folks Saturday night before the Chicago Bulls took on the Golden State Warriors, but the athlete’s intelligence over wearing it has sparked questioning from Chicago sports radio host Dan Bernstein.
According to thegrio.com, Bernstein aired his criticism of Rose that same night on Twitter while mentioning that he doesn’t think Rose “understands what he’s doing” and even if he did, isn’t articulate enough to explain himself. CBSChicago.com sports editor Cody Westerlund mentioned that Rose was not available for comments after the game.
Rose’s shirt was his way of paying tribute to Eric Garner, the Staten Island man who was choked to death in July by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. The 43-year-old married father’s last words before he died was, “I can’t breathe.” The words have since become a rallying cry for protestors nationwide since the tragedy and the grand jury’s decision to indict Pantaleo.
Bernstein’s acknowledgement of Rose’s shirt started out positive as he credited the point guard for doing “something Michael Jordan has never had the guts to do.”
“He took a political stand — more important than any game’s outcome,” the prominent Chicago-based sports radio host said. Despite the praise for Rose, Bernstein’s condescending tweets overshadowed the recognition as he seemingly questioned Rose’s intelligence and ability to speak for himself.
Bernstein’s comments rubbed many Twitter users the wrong way, including Ebony.com senior editor Jamilah Lemieux, who let the reporter know exactly how she felt.
Rose’s wearing of the “I Can’t Breathe” shirt, follows a string of recent protests against police brutality. Five players from the St. Louis Rams generated headlines last Sunday after they came onto the field displaying the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ gesture honoring Michael Brown while protesting the non-indictment of the Ferguson, Mo. officer who killed him. Despite demands of an apology from the St. Louis County Police Officers Association, the NFL and the Rams have refused to do so.