LeBron Obama

Left: LeBron James (Getty) Right: President Obama (Getty)

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President Obama gave NBA star LeBron James props during his interview with People Magazine for wearing an “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt while warming up for a recent game.

“You know, I think LeBron did the right thing,” Obama told People just two days after the December 8 game.

James, and other fellow athletes, have donned the shirts during pre-game warmups, voicing their opinions on the recent grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island. In both cases, grand juries decided not to indict white police officers who killed unarmed black men.

The t-shirts have Eric Garner’s last words written on them before he died in a chokehold of a NYPD officer.

“We went through a long stretch there where [with] well-paid athletes the notion was: just be quiet and get your endorsements and don’t make waves,” the president said. “LeBron is an example of a young man who has, in his own way and in a respectful way, tried to say, ‘I’m part of this society, too’ and focus attention.”

Obama added that he would “like to see more athletes do that. Not just around this issue, but around a range of issues.”

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