Adam Silver supports NBA players’ right to honor Eric Garner, but would prefer they follow clothing rules


Since Saturday, shirts honoring Eric Garner that read “I Can’t Breathe” have been a hot topic among NBA stars. Derrick Rose wore one on Saturday, and LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and several Brooklyn Nets players wore them on Monday.

So far, there has been mostly positive public reaction, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver supports the players’ rights for free speech…but he’d prefer they go about it a different way.

From Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

That’s more or less what you’d expect the commissioner to say. He doesn’t want to set a precedent of players wearing non-league sanctioned clothes on the court because of the league’s agreement with Adidas.

Still, Silver’s statement was a pretty mild reprimand. He didn’t say that players couldn’t wear the shirts, or that he would fine or suspend them if they didn’t stop. Just that he’d prefer they didn’t. That says more about Silver’s stance than any real punishment would. He clearly supports his players’ rights to speak out on social issues, which is what really matters.