This One Minor Detail of LeBron's 'I Can't Breathe Shirt' Outraged Fans

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James appeared during warm-ups before Monday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets wearing a shirt that said “I CAN’T BREATHE,” in support of the family of Eric Garner, who died in New York after a confrontation with police. Several players on both teams joined LeBron in wearing the shirts including Kevin Garnett, Kyrie Irving, and Deron Williams. They followed the lead of Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who wore the same shirt before a game on Saturday night.


After the game, James explained to reporters why he wore the shirt.

“It was a message to the family that I’m sorry for their loss. Sorry to his wife. And that’s what it’s about. I think everybody else get caught up in everything else besides who’s really feelin’ it, and that’s the family. That’s what it’s about,” he said.

“Obviously we know our society needs to do better, but like I said before, violence is not the answer and retaliation isn’t the solution. As a society we know we have to get better but it’s not going to be done in one day. Rome wasn’t built in a day and we know that, but we all have to do better,” James continued.

While a lot of fans agreed with LeBron’s message in principle, many were disturbed by — of all things — the font choice.

We are now at a point in the culture where civil discourse has blown past anything resembling meaningful debate, past memes and soundbites, even past short t-shirt slogans. Now it’s devolved into whether or not the message carries the right font:


It appears that Nets guard Jarrett Jack was the friend who let a friend use the embattled Comic Sans font, which is often mocked for its lack of seriousness. Apparently, Jack was inadvertently responsible for the entire t-shirt debacle. He told reporters that he heard LeBron talking about Derrick Rose’s shirt, “so I reached out to my people out here, Excel Sports Management [Jack’s agency], they was able to make it happen, they made a few shirts for those guys happen over there.”


Excel Sports Management unselfconsciously tweeted out an article about NBA players wearing the shirts.


I think this person on Twitter summed it up pretty well:




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