High school hoops tournament bans players’ ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirts

There are some sensible people in California, after all.

A California high school’s basketball program lost its invitation to a state tournament because its players planned to wear “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts referring to the death of a New York city man earlier this year.

The boys agreed to leave the shirts at home and are going to be allowed into the tournament, which starts Monday. The girls aren’t budging though.

According to the Associated Press,  the Mendocino High School boys and girls basketball teams were ready to participate in a hoops tournament hosted by Fort Bragg High School, but the tournament rescinded the invitation because the teams planned to wear the inflammatory shirts.out of fear the teams would wear the symbolic shirts.

Photo Credit / Fort Bragg Advocate-News

Mendocino’s basketball teams wore the shirts during pregame warm ups against Fort Bragg,  AP reported.

In a statement issued on Friday, Fort Bragg principal Rebecca Walker said, “To protect the safety and well-being of all tournament participants it is necessary to ensure that all political statements and or protests are kept away from this tournament. We are a small school district that simply does not have the resources to ensure the safety and well-being of our staff, students and guests at the tournament should someone get upset and choose to act out.”

The majority of Mendocino boys team agreed to not wear the shirts and were reinstated to the tournament. A few players plan to sit out as they feel their right to freedom of speech has been infringed upon, AP reported.

Photo by Mendocinosportsplus
Photo Credit / Mendocinosportsplus

Not enough members of the girl’s basketball team accepted Fort Bragg’s conditions to field a squad, so the girls won’t participate.


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