"I wondered to myself, what if LeBron James instead had a shirt, 'Be a better father to your dad' — I mean, 'Be a better father to your son,' 'Raise your children,'" Rivera said. "Those difficult issues are not being dealt with by the black community because they are so complex, they are so deep-rooted, they are really so profoundly troubling that they don't want to try."
"And it is a victimization mentality that says we can only motivate, when we are the victims," Rivera continued. "It goes in keeping with everything that's happened to the black community and the generations preceding. It's easy to demonstrate and be outraged when we are the victims. 'Look what they are doing to us rather than what we are doing to ourselves.' There is a kind of urban suicide happening here that has to be dealt with."
The shirt, worn by James and other NBA players, was a show of support for Eric Garner, a black man who died after being put into a chokehold by a white New York police officer. The t-shirt's slogan referenced Garner's final words as he struggled to breathe, a phrase that has become the mantra of those protesting the grand jury's decision not to indict the officer who killed Garner.
Watch the video below, via Media Matters: