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Pa. school may punish athletes wearing 'I Can't Breathe' shirts

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 16, 2015 8:34 AM
protest_cantbreathe.jpg

Photo by AP Photo/Fort Bragg Advocate-News, Chris Calder,File

2014 file photo provided by the Fort Bragg Advocate-News shows Mendocino High School girls basketball team wearing the "I Can't Breathe" T-shirts before a recent game in December 2014. A California school district on Monday, Dec. 29, 2014 reversed a basketball tournament ban on T-shirts reading "I Can't Breathe" and said it would allow high school players to wear the shirts during warm-ups as long as they do not cause problems, lawyers said.

(Uniontown) -- A western Pennsylvania school district is considering disciplining girls' basketball players for wearing T-shirts with the words "I Can't Breathe.''

The Uniontown Area players in Fayette County wore the shirts during pregame warmups Monday.

About 15 people in the stands also wore them.

They show the last words of Eric Garner, the unarmed black man who died last summer after a New York City police officer put him in a chokehold.

School director Susan Clay tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review she didn't think it was the "time and place for such a political stunt.''

She says players didn't get permission to deviate from district-issued gear.

Legal scholars say courts have been upholding students' free speech rights since the Vietnam War era.

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