On Monday night, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn might as well been the center of the universe. There were protesters, NBA players, rap royalty, a real life prince, a duchess, and a whole lot of media. As the masses gathered outside to protest a Staten Island jury’s decision to not indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of unarmed black man Eric Garner, it was Jay Z who brought the activism indoors.
The hip hop mogul, who has made a career out of artfully rapping about his many run-ins with the NYPD (who even kept a secret file on him), hand-delivered “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts to Brooklyn Nets players. Some of the Cleveland Cavaliers also wore a version of the tees during pre-game warm-ups to make a powerful statement: they stand in solidarity with Garner.
Thanks @S_C_ for hand delivering these to the locker room. Thanks Justice League NYC for the TripleXL pic.twitter.com/QeeHEziLZZ
— dream hampton (@dreamhampton) December 9, 2014
But here’s a question: Why didn’t Jay himself wear one? Many fans and Twitter users are asking after he appeared with the players in a symbolic photo wearing just a black tee:
@dreamhampton why isn't @S_C_ wearing one?
— Progressive Pupil (@PPupil) December 9, 2014
@dreamhampton @S_C_ Yet he's not wearing one?
— Wheredatrolls? (@TimmyRedEyez) December 9, 2014
So Jay-z provided the nets the I cant breathe t-shirts, and he didn't have one on himself? lol
— Aaron (@vettepassby35) December 9, 2014
@TheBlackGuyX @deray Notice who doesn't have the shirt on. Hmmmm
— Tamar (@totalpkg1969) December 9, 2014
Jay Z supplied the Nets with I Can't Breathe t-shirts, but he didn't rock one… ? Um, ok.
— Christina M. Tapper (@Tapperific) December 9, 2014
JAY Z spending money on some #ICantBreathe T-shirts doesn't speak to me as much as JAY Z wearing one. He has plenty of money to spend.
— ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ (@princexhermes) December 9, 2014
@MrMichaelLee Jay Z isnt wearing one of the t-shirts… Hmm.
— RaidersSixers (@BMoonan) December 9, 2014
So Jay Z brought the #ICantBreathe T shirts to the game last night but failed to wear one? Does that make any sense at all? #EricGarner @CNN
— TruthBeTold (@Big6domino) December 9, 2014
Middle finger to Jay Z… he aint got on a t shirts… he aint slick #ICantBreathe
— JaysReal (@jaysreallife) December 9, 2014
Yall really expected Jay-Z to wear an "I Can't Breathe" t-shirt to the Nets Game when he got Obama on the text? Girl, please.
— Ten Ten (@carnivaltenten) December 9, 2014
Now we know why Jay-Z didn't wear an "I Can't Breathe" t-shirt after handing them out to his team http://t.co/rlxPwWot1b
— IAA&DS (@AfrikanPower) December 9, 2014
Imagine if Jay Z wore this "i can't breathe T-shirt" http://t.co/l9i4BnNimh
— MacB Budede (@MacB_Budede) December 9, 2014
The dominating thought is that Jay-Z really didn't have the proper size of the T-shirt to wear. LMAO, how does that make sense doe?
— Nneka Marie (@NisforNneka) December 9, 2014