Administrators at a Northern California high school have banned the “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts from being worn during a basketball tournament.
Both Mendocino boys’ and girls’ basketball teams were uninvited from a Fort Bragg tournament because there were concerns that the players would wear the t-shirts – which honor police chokehold victim Eric Garner – during warm-ups, like NBA professionals have been doing lately.
Mendocino Unified School District Superintendent Jason Morse told the AP that the boys’ team was ultimately re-invited to the tournament at nearby Fort Bragg High School “after all but one player agreed not to wear the shirts anywhere on the Fort Bragg campus during the three-day tournament.”
Fort Bragg principal Rebecca Walker said in a statement:
To protect the safety and well-being of all tournament participants it is necessary to ensure that all political statements and or protests are kept away from this tournament.
Though the shirts were banned, Walker commended the students for being aware of what’s happening in the world.
Meanwhile, during Saturday’s funeral for the slain NYPD officer Rafael Ramos, hundreds of officers turned their backs while Mayor Bill de Blasio gave his speech, as a form of protest.
This silent form of protest comes after police union officials have said that de Blasio contributed to a new wave of mistrust toward the NYPD. When he arrived at the funeral service, he was also booed.
Rafael’s wife Maritza and her two sons Jaden and Justin were surrounded by thousands of police officers during the service in Queens.
Our hearts and sincerest condolences go out to the Ramos family during this difficult time. Hopefully all protests can be kept peaceful in the future.