As I’m sure you’re aware, a number of NBA stars this week followed the lead of Chicago’s Derrick Rose in taking the floor wearing shirts emblazoned with “I CAN’T BREATHE”, their way of acknowledging a Staten Island grand jury’s failure to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking fatality of Eric Garner. When LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers visited the Barclays Center on Tuesday, I was not along in noting the choice of font on the shirts in question. Sadly, in the eyes of Dangerous Minds’ Martin Schneider, such observations can be summed up as “IDIOTIC HIPSTERS COMPLAIN ABOUT THE FONT OF ‘I CAN’T BREATHE’ PROTEST SHIRTS” :
All across America, a small minority of observers reacted in the expected way: they tut-tutted the shirts’ choice of font. The shirts, while admittedly embodying a courageous stand against the combined forces of intolerance, had committed the unpardonable sin of violating a bit of design etiquette.
The New York Times report on the shirts emphasizes the outsize efforts of Jay-Z and others to replicate the gesture made by Derrick Rose of the Bulls and makes no mention of Comic Sans or any other aspect of the shirts’ design, except to note that “Rameen Aminzadeh, a member of Justice League NYC, drafted a simple design for the text of the T-shirt, which other members of the group approved sometime after 1 a.m. [referring to late Sunday night/early Monday morning].”
Yeah? Well guess what you and the New York Times have in common, Martin? Other than being widely read and globally respected, of course. Neither of you found anything even slightly ironic or newsworthy about LeBron donning a garment prominently displaying the very font that was so infamously employed by his past & present paymaster in one of the most ill-advised kiss-off letters ever published.
Is that in any way, shape or form more important than James using his notoriety to make a social statement? Of course not. But some persons who picked up on it are neither idiotic or hipsters. They’re simply basketball fans whose sense of history goes back a whole 4 years.