By Ashley Dunkak
@AshleyDunkak

CBS DETROIT – Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush made national news Sunday when he wore a shirt that read “I Can’t Breathe” in pregame warmups as a sign of respect to Eric Garner, a man who died after a police officer put him in a headlock when he resisted arrest.

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Video of the arrest showed Garner on the ground repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe,” and that phrase has become a rallying cry among thousands who have protested across the country.

“It was just something that obviously we’ve talked about and something that I feel like this was my own personal way of protesting peacefully and in a respectful way, too, without having to say too much,” Bush told Stoney, Bill and Sara of 97.1 The Ticket.

He has gotten some backlash on social media, but that neither surprises him or bothers him too much.

“Obviously people are going to have some negative comments and not agree with you, and that’s okay,” Bush said. “I don’t live my life for everyone to agree with me. Obviously with stuff like this I know that people are going to have their own opinions, and people should. Everybody should have their own opinions, and everybody’s entitled to their opinions and how they feel about the situation and about what’s going on, and for me, I felt like this was my way of protesting peacefully, and this is coming from the son of a police officer. My mother’s been a police officer for 20 years now.

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“This wasn’t an easy decision by any means for me to go out there and do that,” Bush added. “I even, afterwards, asked my wife, I said, ‘Do you think I did the right thing?’ and she said, ‘Well, is that how you truly felt in your heart?’ and I said, ‘Yeah,’ and she said, ‘Well, don’t second-guess yourself.'”

Bush, who has missed five games this season because of an ankle injury, said he managed to stay healthy Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“It just felt good to be back out there, and it felt good to be able to finish a game healthy without any setbacks,” Bush said. “I feel like it’s been forever since I played, and I was just happy not to get carried off the field again. I was excited that I reached one of my first goals was just to finish a game healthy and not have any setbacks.”

On one of Bush’s most memorable plays in that game, a three-yard catch on third down in the red  zone, Bush walked away gingerly, and it looked as if he might be injured yet again.

“I just took a little bit of a hit, and my ankle kind of rolled a little bit, but it’s just to be expected,” Bush said. “It’s just kind of part of kind working through it and fighting through some of the pain, some of the scar tissue, whatever it is, I don’t know … It felt good to kind of get back into a rhythm as a running back.”

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