High school basketball tournament bans 'I can't breathe' T-shirts

A girls high school basketball team in California was disinvited to a tournament because its players refused a directive not to wear "I can't breathe' T-shirts.

The Hill:

Boys and girls high school teams from Mendocino were scheduled to compete at a three-day tournament hosted by Fort Bragg High School starting Monday, according to the Associated Press.

The boys team will play in the tournament after its members decided to not wear the shirts, which refer to Eric Garner’s dying comments to police officers who put him in a chokehold over the summer.

Garner died in the incident, which was captured on video. A grand jury this fall did not indict the officer who put Garner in the chokehold, sparking new nationwide protests.

According to the AP, a number of girls on the Mendocino team said they would refuse to not wear the warm-up shirts. As a result, the girls team will not play in the tournament.

Fort Bragg Principal Rebecca Walker issued a written statement that said the t-shirts were being banned because of security.

"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," she wrote.

The Mendocino girls team’s coach, Caidyn Feehan, told the AP that team players had worn the shirts at two other tournaments.

"None of the administrators knew what it was or that any of them were doing it in advance,” she told the AP. “This was entirely for their cause that they had strong feelings about."

The father of a member of the boys team, who will sit out the tournament over the t-shirt issue, said he will bring the issue to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU may very well take the case but chances are good that it would lose in court. The courts have granted wide latitude to schools when it comes to insuring the "safety and well being" of students,. faculty and guests at an event.

Why politicize a sporting event in the first place? For the left, the personal is political, which means that anything and everything must be about politics. We can't escape this nonsense today in America unless the impulse is resisted. There must be sanctuaries established that we can escape from politics for a few minutes or a few days. A high school basketball tournament should be one of them.

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