Obama says it is ‘important’ for athletes to speak out

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WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama said on Friday (Saturday in Manila) it can be beneficial for high-profile athletes to speak out on social issues, after a string of sports stars have protested over police killings of black Americans. The president noted that revered athletes such as boxing icon Muhammad Ali and tennis great Arthur Ashe used their stature to focus attention on social or political issues. Numerous players in both the NFL and NBA—including former NBA Most Valuable Players Derrick Rose and LeBron James—have donned T-shirts reading “I can’t breathe,” the last words spoken by African American father-of-six Eric Garner who died after he was held in a chokehold by a New York police officer.

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AFP

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