CBS college basketball analyst Doug Gottlieb has a TAKE on Kobe Bryant's choice of t-shirt, and the mangled hashtag is just the cherry on top.
For their game against the Kings tonight, the entire Los Angeles Lakers came out for pregame warmups in "I can't breathe" t-shirts, much like LeBron James and others did last night and Derrick Rose a couple of nights before:
Doug Gottlieb thinks he's on TV to provide the "white man's perspective"—because THAT'S what's sorely lacking from television—so it is no surprise that he brought it to Twitter in the form of a quickly-deleted Tweet that was (of course) not deleted fast enough.
Gottlieb fails to understand that being rich or living in a nice neighborhood doesn't prevent police from racially profiling people of color, as ESPN analyst and former baseball player Doug Glanville wrote about this spring. Gottlieb fails to understand that scores of unarmed people of color are killed by police in America. Gottlieb fails to understand that the protests over the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown at the hands of the police aren't only about those individuals, but about a criminal justice system designed to take black lives.
Even if Kobe's wealth and stature somehow immunized him against the effects of structural and violent racism, wearing an "I can't breathe" shirt would signify that this is such an important issue that it demands supporting even by those unaffected. It would draw attention a problem. It would put one of the most popular athletes in America—who didn't exactly speak out about the killing of Trayvon Martin—squarely behind a movement.
Doug apparently also said some dumb things on his radio show today (which don't seem to be in the podcasts put up online):
Gottlieb has yet to say anything about his deleted deep thought.
Header photo via @johnxdiaz, others via AP