Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Self: Georgetown took ‘pretty strong stance’ with T-shirts

Georgetown players take the court wearing "I Can't Breathe" shirts in support of the family of Eric Garner before tipoff against Kansas on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014 at Verizon Center in Washington D.C. Garner, an unarmed black man died after being choked by a New York city police officer who was not indicted in a recent grand jury decision.

Georgetown players take the court wearing "I Can't Breathe" shirts in support of the family of Eric Garner before tipoff against Kansas on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014 at Verizon Center in Washington D.C. Garner, an unarmed black man died after being choked by a New York city police officer who was not indicted in a recent grand jury decision.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self discusses 75-70 road victory vs. Georgetown.

Bill Self discusses 75-70 road victory vs. Georgetown.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Brannen Greene and Kelly Oubre discuss victory at Georgetown

Brannen Greene and Kelly Oubre discuss victory at Georgetown.

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Box score

— Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self did not notice that Georgetown’s players wore “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts during pre-game warmups Wednesday in Verizon Center.

The shirts quote the final words of Eric Garner, a New York city native who died in July after a police officer placed him in a chokehold during an arrest. On Dec. 3, a grand jury declined to indict the officer, sparking protests.

“I didn’t know until after the game,” said Self, who doesn’t arrive to the bench until just a few minutes before tip, thus didn’t see the Hoyas’ warm-up drills with the shirts. “It’s a pretty strong stance. I think it’s pretty good. It shows a lot of solidarity amongst their unit. I don’t see anything negative with it at all.”

Noted KU’s Kelly Oubre Jr.: “It was a powerful statement guys collectively made to emphasize (their feelings). I respect them for doing that. They did it as a team. It was something good to watch.”

More news and notes from Kansas at Georgetown

By the Numbers: Kansas wins 75-70 at Georgetown

By the Numbers: Kansas wins 75-70 at Georgetown


Mike Riches 6 years, 10 months ago

Okay, thank you for the clarification. I thought they wore those shirts to represent how every Georgetown fan was going to feel when Greene took his fifth three of the night...

Mike Riches 6 years, 10 months ago

I apologize if I offended you Michael or anyone else...

Pam Rowe 6 years, 10 months ago

obey officers would have been a good statement on the warm ups for the ku team

Kyle Neuer 6 years, 10 months ago

So anyone that doesn't immediately submit deserves to die, eh Pam? For selling single cigarettes?

Cameron Cederlind 6 years, 10 months ago

I think she was referring to Traylors arrest but I could be wrong.

John Pritchett 6 years, 10 months ago

It doesn't matter what you're doing, if you escalate it to resisting arrest, you should expect to be subdued. And if you're in poor health, you can't expect special treatment. And btw, this has nothing to do with the color of your skin. If these extenuating circumstances didn't exist, then maybe this could be argued to have been racist behavior. As it is, it's just race baiting.

Elias Dunlavy 6 years, 10 months ago

Im white but iv seen police brutality against blacks in my own neighborhood so for Pam to think that "Obeying police" is the issue is a Joke. They choked that dude out like they had just came in contact with Osama Bin Laden SMH

Erich Hartmann 6 years, 10 months ago

Agree totally with what you're saying...but regarding Osama Bin Laden, he got exactly and precisely what he deserved. Big difference between guilty and innocent until proven guilty. Law enforcement vs. prosecution. And that was a bipartisan agreement. Now if we can get them to work together on our other issues, we might fix some things at home...

Also, as a matter of perspective, in the old countries, police have a lot more leeway, are a lot more physically "interrogative"...than they are (or ever have been, collectively) in the USA. There's always envelope pushers and guys on the fringe, but those cops' pattern usually weeds them out. They are the minority of police. That should also be kept in perspective.

Look at this issue thru the analytical perspective of percentages and probabilities, which will allow a less emotional evaluation.

Marc Frey 6 years, 10 months ago

In the context of basketball, better conditioning will help with the breathing issues. Out in the real world, and not in the bubble of the Georgetown campus, do not commit crimes, and when you do, do not resist arrest. Simple rules for on and off the court.

Ron Prichard 6 years, 10 months ago

I normally come down on the, "they're the police, just do what your're told, don't resist and you will be fine" side of things, but if you haven't done it yet, go watch the video of this. It is just flat wrong.

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 10 months ago

I think everyone has totally missed the issue with Garner. There were no injuries to Garner from the chokehold/takedown, nor marks of any kind around this throat/neck/windpipe (according to what I have heard). He did resist arrest when told to submit which he should not have done. But the grand jury was asked to look into the wrong thing, I don't think the 'chokehold' had anything to do with it. I think the more relevant question was why he wasn't given medical attention when they saw he was under duress, because he didn't die until an hour later. He didn't deserve to die for selling 'loosies'.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 10 months ago

Perhaps folks that are protesting might get the courage to actually protest the horrific violence that occurs every day in urban neighborhoods. Perhaps they might gain the courage to be completely intolerant of the culture of violence that takes lives every day. Just this morning, I saw that there was going to be a balloon release in memory of a 6 year old little girl who was killed by yet another urban drive by shooting. The folks that protest the police are cowards. They are cowards because they refuse to gear their energies, emotions, and anger toward the folks that are killing people every day.

If the lives of black folks are the issue, as much of the protests suggest -- "black lives matter", then why not take such actions against the thugs in their communities? Instead, they put great energy into protesting folks that have to patrol their neighborhoods in inordinate numbers because of the robbery, murder, drive by shootings, and general mayhem we see daily. Somehow, though, that is unimportant. Somehow, that is just how it is. Where would many of these folks that live in urban areas be without the police? They'd be overrun by the thugs. In no way does this excuse police misconduct, but we have an ocean of inner city violence, and a small cesspool of police misconduct. The energy is completely misdirected. I was in Oakland this summer. Saw more police cars in two hours than I see in a month here. Why? Because of the crime. Police are engaged to protect citizens. That protection is not as needed in low crime areas. The protesters are too cowardly to actually express intolerance for the real scourge in this country. It's easier, as usual, to cast blame outwardly, instead of in their own laps where it belongs.

Eliott Reeder 6 years, 10 months ago

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. On so many levels wrong. Yes, there is a ton of violence in urban communities, but that problem is rooted in SYSTEMIC DISADVANTAGE. You're probably one of these people who don't believe in 'white privilege', because YOUR forefathers pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, etc etc. If so, you have zero grasp on the real history of our great nation. The current issue with police brutality and the utter unfairness of the criminal justice system in regards to white vs black/brown people is just a tipping point. Things run much deeper than that.

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 10 months ago

There is no 'systemic disadvantage' but what does exist is the low income black community (and really expand that to most of the low income population in this country) who are victims of a welfare state that perpetuates a cycle of dependency that they have a very hard time escaping from. And the more vocal 'civil rights' leaders are just self-serving inciters of hate and victimization.

Jack is dead on right, but treating blacks like they are too stupid to do anything for themselves by continuing to give them money and benefits and leave them stuck in a life of ghettos and no chance of escape doesn't help matters.

Eliott Reeder 6 years, 10 months ago

Really!?! Structural racism is a real thing. White privilege is a real thing. Trust me, I've done a lot of research on the topic. I don't get my talking points from The Daily Show OR the Fox News Channel. I'd be happy to point you to a ton of literature that will open your eyes to these realities if you'd like. You guys sound like Bill F-ing O'Reilly.

DaNeille Dani Davis 6 years, 10 months ago

Well said, Jack. Still, I don't think those shirts belong in college sports.

Allison Steen 6 years, 10 months ago

Nothing but respect for Georgetown after this.

Dustin Peterson 6 years, 10 months ago

I think it is natural to get a little hyberbolic when talking about these things, but it seems to me that if Eric Garner deserved to die, then why wasn't Jamari Traylor killed? Why the inconsistency? I don't want to single anyone out, but the dismissal of police brutality as a problem when "black on black" crime is a much bigger problem, is to avoid one of two completely separate issues. You expect a thug to be a thug. You don't expect, nor is it ever appropriate, that a police officer is a thug. I'm no expert in law enforcement, for sure, but I do expect a police officer to enforce the law in a less childish way than criminals break it. Any idiot can be violent. If an officer resorts to violence against a non-threatening individual, he lacks the creativity, temperament, discipline, and confidence to qualify for that line of employment, IMO.

Erich Hartmann 6 years, 10 months ago

Problem is police live near the edge of having to "use of force" at any given moment. They are human, they will make mistakes. They may misperceive. Not making excuses for them, as what is found to be wrong is still wrong (if a cop acted wrongly). Also, most of them are men. Men with testosterone, who sometimes allow a situation to push that button. Just like in a physical game, you saw that similar button get pushed between Lucas and Josh Smith. Things get too physical (rightly or wrongly), and a fair number of men will take it to the next level. The only way to combat that innate 'surge' is to attain a high degree of training, to recognize the triggers to such a response. Its the only way.

Glen Miller 6 years, 10 months ago

The problem is that everything is made into a black/white issue anymore. Take away the color and ask yourself if what happened was fair to anyone..... not just a black, white, mexican, asian or whoever. I would venture to say that those who say the policeman was just doing his job would be singing a different tune if it was your brother, sister or friend. If it's not right to those people that you care about, why would it be right to do to someone based on color?? It was wrong and this officer should have been punished. The man said he couldn't breathe and brought zero threat to the man who killed him. I think there are a whole lot of good policemen out there, but this one was wrong. Let's stop making this about RACE and start making it about right and wrong......

Eliott Reeder 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree with your point to some extent, and I think we are on the same side of this topic. I wish that race had nothing to do with it, but the problem is that the numbers show, without a doubt, that it DOES have something to do with it. There are stats upon stats upon stats to back this up. Do you realize that 1 in 3 black men will go to prison at some point in their lives vs 1 in 17 whites?!? That this kind of disparity based on racial bias even exists, in and of itself, has EVERYTHING to do with right and wrong.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 10 months ago

Who was it that made selling "loosies" a crime. It was the liberal elites and tax hogs in New York. While I wish that this situation wasn"t handled in such a tragic way, the police don't make the laws, they enforce them.

As far as wearing the shirts is concerned, I don't really have a problem with it. Everyone is entitled to express themselves in a peaceful way. It sure beats the heck out of what the professional protesters did in Ferguson.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 10 months ago

Regardless of where you come down on the Eric Garner and Michael Brown decisions, these players have a right to exercise their right to free speech. When someone exercises their right to free speech, they're also subject to criticism from those who disagree with that opinion and any possible consequences from it. It's also a good thing that JT3 made his players hold back on their protest to research the cases fully before doing so.

The thing that concerns me about these cases is that people are trying to make martyrs out of criminals. It can argued about all day long whether those officers were justified in killing those people, but that doesn't address ways to correct the issues of police accountability.

Ron Sterling 6 years, 10 months ago

Jack, your post is absolutely ludicrous. Are you honestly trying to say that people in ghettos should be protesting violent criminals? What exactly is that supposed to accomplish? Do you really expect that thugs with no regard for the personal and property rights of others will be moved suddenly by acts of civil unrest? Or are private citizens to take to the streets as vigilantes and attempt to wrest control of big government ghettos from heavily armed street gangs? Is that what makes them cowards in your view? Even if you focus on neighborhood safety, it's still the police you'd protest, right?

I'm a libertarian and I believe that the only purpose of government is to uphold the rights of its citizens and for us to hold the government accountable to that task, so of course police should be protested if they aren't protecting citizens from violence, but perpetrating it. I agree with the Michael Brown decision not because I think a man that committed a robbery and hit a cop deserved to die, but an officer or anyone else has a right to defend themselves, lethally if necessary. If Brown was truly surrendering, that could change tings, but the truth of that matter has been lost in that moment and Darren Wilson deserves the benefit of the doubt in that circumstance. Eric Garner, however, is a completely different situation. He was being arrested for a nonviolent crime. He did resist somewhat, but he wasn't violent and didn't pose a threat to the officers. The office in that case also violated the law too in using the chokehold, but he's not being held accountable for his action.

Harlan, it doesn't matter who wrote the statute or what the arrest was about. We're talking about lethal violence being imposed by the state for a nonviolent crime. It doesn't matter if it was liberals or conservatives who came up with the law. What matters is how enforcement was carried out. Rudy Giuliani cracked down on jaywalking when he was mayor of New York. Would you be okay with a jaywalker being choked to death? The issue of the cigarette tax has its place, but it doesn't excuse what happened here.

Aaron, I don't understand your concern of making 'martyrs out of criminals'. Again, I agree with the Michael Brown decision and don't think he's any kind of saint, but plenty of martyrs and saints were considered criminals by their states at the time of their deaths. Even Jesus was a criminal according to Rome and Judea, so I don't see what that has to do with whether or not someone is worthy of a martyrs status. Eric Garner wasn't committing an act of violence and didn't deserve a violent death, especially at the hands of his own government.

Erich Hartmann 6 years, 10 months ago

Nice discussion. What I found infuriating and totally ignorant was the rioting and looting and the reaction to the Michael Brown decision. Those people pre-determined they were going to riot if the decision was against Brown. The plain, simple FACT was that Michael Brown attempted to assault the police officer inside the patrol car (!!!) and dove into the patrol car to not only hit the officer, but also tried to grab the officer's gun, while the officer was in his patrol car (!!!). Utter, senseless, idiocy! Brown took his petty theft, and knowingly and willfully turned it into a life/death struggle. Oh, but that little fact, which is really the only fact...seems to be lost on all these protesters. They want to put another tally mark in some race card.

I just want to ask (specifically about the Brown case): What do you think could happen if you dive into a patrol car to assault the officer and try to go for his gun? How many Hollywood movies have we seen that 'tussle' when 2 guys are wrestling for a gun...and it always ends badly for one.

Im not making any comment on race inequality, as of course it exists, and its been discussed for decades/centuries...but those ignorant protesters in Ferguson, MO picked the wrong "hero" or "martyr". Brown was no hero, nor a martyr. Just someone who chose to act in a very stupid and idiotic manner, right? Talk about Brown's own actions, not his race. You can try to argue "systematically underpriviledged", but I dont buy it in the context of some actions are just plain wrong. Do some things, and it might get you killed. Someone can be the most underpriviledged person in the USA, but diving into a cop car to wrestle with the officer for his gun is about the most polarized act of stupidity I've heard in a while. There. Is. No. Rationalizing. It. Brown = dead wrong.

Russ McCaig 6 years, 10 months ago

Oh...I thought the shirts were for Josh Smith, he was wanting off the court every 3 minutes....

Waylon Cook 6 years, 10 months ago

I love when athletes try to get "political". The Rams and the hands up thing(I guess they didn't read the grand jury report??????

I read respect Gtown and Lebron if their shirts said "Bloomberg policies caused this"

Dustin Peterson 6 years, 10 months ago

Erich, I agree with some of what you're saying, but there is a massive assumption of those in your camp that fail to wonder if Michael Brown was provoked into attacking Darren Wilson. In a comment from earlier, you made a statement with which I STRONGLY agree, pertaining to men and our testosterone fueled mistakes. It is no big secret that law enforcement requires a "type-A" or Alpha Male personality to be able to do the job, but that doesn't mean one has to be a thug, simultaneously. I'm sure you agree. If it is reasonable for you to assume that Brown wasn't provoked, it is also reasonable to assume that he was. Without facts it is difficult to know. However, it seems reasonable to me that a 28 year-old male standing 6'4", with an alpha-male personality,and carrying a gun, probably feels a lot of power. To lose a physical altercation would be touching "that button" you mentioned. Again, without facts...

You also are slightly assuming that Brown reached for the officer's gun. Twelve of 15 eyewitness testimonies agree with you, but 3 do not. Eighty percent is not a fact. If you take a look at this chart, you'll see that we know absolutely nothing of certainty based on eyewitness testimony.

What we do know is that there was 148 feet between Darren Wilson and Michael Brown when Brown was killed. So here is where the logic starts to happen for me. Even IF there had been a confrontation in the vehicle, and even IF Brown were not provoked, and even IF Brown charged Wilson, the officer must make every effort to subdue the alleged perpetrator alive. It is his duty to do so because until the alleged is tried and convicted by a jury of his peers, he is not guilty. Brown had his constitutional right of trial by jury taken from him when he could have been arrested with non-lethal force from that distance. Mistake or not, Wilson denied Brown his right to trial and should face consequences for it. In no other situation was that more apparent than during Wilson's own hearing, when he was allowed to testify to the Grand Jury, and Michael Brown was not available to share his side.

So I'll stand by what I said earlier about the qualifications to be a police officer, while adding that if you are more concerned about your own personal safety than the constitutional rights of the public you are sworn to protect, then don't take the job. That job is for heroes only.

Rob Stewart 6 years, 10 months ago

Imagine if a generation of true "leaders" would rise up in the inner cities of America, a generation of "Followers" of Jesus, imagine if the same color skinned man would invest in Jesus, and become a leader of his people, red, white and black, a generation of strong and courageous "teachers" would rise up, put down the race cards, the systematic disadvantage cards and pick up the "Jesus" cards, "when MY PEOPLe humble themselves and call on me, I will HEAL their LAND." Did you catch that, it is a sin problem, in every city, every community, every race, SIN, we DO what we don't want to do, why? sin... Imagine a community of Godly men, red, black and white becoming role models, becoming teachers of the word, the word that brings LIFE, it relights the snuffed out HOLY SPIRIT in us, when we teach people to put down the "selfie" and pick up the bible, then and only then will "their" house prosper, all communities struggle with something, pride? sex? drug? alcohol? how bout greed?

Rob Stewart 6 years, 10 months ago

Their shirts "I can't breathe" wasn't about Garner, it was a statement about us, we can't breathe cuz we got our heads so DEEP in SIN,trust me I smoked that pipe for 30 years, so the "plank" is removed from MY EYES. Check back in 5 years, it never gets better, the same old blame game, instead WE men of ALL color need only to "look" at the man in the mirror, HE is the sower of these seeds, his son watches and repeats his daddy's sins, the harvest do come in, every season, watch.......

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