Derrick Rose wore an 'I Can't Breathe' t-shirt during warmups last night

Bulls star adds his voice to the protests on Eric Garner’s death.

CHICAGO BULLS STAR Derrick Rose warmed up in a T-shirt bearing the words “I Can’t Breathe” on Saturday in a nod to protests denouncing the killing of unarmed Eric Garner by New York police.

“I can’t breathe” were the final words gasped repeatedly by Garner, a 43-year-old father of six who died in July after a police chokehold that was caught on amateur video footage.

A coroner’s report ruled Garner’s death a “homicide” and his death is among a spate of killings of unarmed black men by white police officers that has sparked nationwide demonstrations.

Rose wore the T-shirt prior to the Bulls’ game against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

Former Chicago player and current ESPN commentator Jalen Rose was among those reacting to the quiet statement on Twitter.

“I respect Derrick Rose for rocking the ‘I Can’t Breathe’ tee for warmup’s,” he posted.

The gesture came a day after NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson urged the country’s sports stars to get involved with social issues.

“They have to because it affects them, too,” Johnson said on Friday at a benefit organized by Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri to honor the late Nelson Mandela.

“They grew up in these situations; they must not forget that,” Johnson said. “I hope that they would do more.”

© AFP 2014

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