Damian Lillard discussed the protesters who who descended upon the Trail Blazers’ home arena earlier this month, but he made darn sure not to say anything:
It’s a protest. So, their intention is to get people to join them and gather for the cause that they represent. And I’m not mad about it.
Lillard’s hesitance to take a stand was understandable. Backed by a $100 million endorsement deal, Lillard’s stature is growing. He ought to do think twice before doing anything that puts his marketability at risk.
But now Lillard is following Derrick Rose, LeBron James and others in wearing “I can’t breathe” shirts. It’s a message to the country: People will no longer stand for the unnecessary killing of citizens by police.
And here’s a message to Adam Silver. If you don’t want players wearing these shirts, you’ll probably have to take action, because this form of protest continues despite your appeal to end it.