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French-Born Nicolas Batum Wears Je Suis Charlie Shirt in Solidarity with Charlie Hebdo Victims (Pic)
Portland Trail Blazers guard Nicolas Batum wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase “Je suis Charlie” on the court prior to last night’s game against the Miami Heat. However, unlike other instances of athletes wearing t-shirts with slogans on them in recent months, Batum’s was not a protest. It was, instead, an act of solidarity.
Je suis Charlie is the phrase that trended on social media earlier this week when the world learned of the horrific terrorist rampage that left 12 dead at the Paris office of French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. It means, in French, “I am Charlie.”
Batum, 26, is a native of Lisieux, France. He was one of the top-ranked junior players growing up, and since being drafted by the Rockets in 2008 he has become one of the NBA’s top defensive specialists. However, even after signing a four-year, $46 million extension, Batum is still a regular on the French national team. He played in the 2012 Summer Olympics, helped France take gold at the 2013 European Championship, and then bronze at the 2014 FIBA World Cup. So his home country is still near and dear to him. Which explains the shirt.
Hat Tip – [@blazerbanter]