About

UNARMED is an ongoing art project in memoriam of black victims of police violence. Unarmed asks the question, “if racism is a sport, which player do you root for?” Each jersey is designed in the colors of a victim’s local sports team. The jersey number represents the victim’s age. Stars, if present, represent how many times the victim was shot. I designed the first Unarmed jersey in 2013, not long after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, and first started posting designs to this website in 2014.

The iconic image of Martin, smiling in his red Hollister t-shirt, reminded me of an image from my own kitchen as a teen – next to a different set of wires, and wearing a hoodie with a fly purple plaid Cross Colours zip-up.

It was around that time in life when the outside world started treating me differently. Like a threat. A trend that continues unabated decades later.

People die because of racism. And at the hands of the police, black people die in higher numbers than anyone else.

Unarmed salutes #BlackLivesMatter, Colin Kaepernick, and all soldiers in the struggle for racial justice and an even playing field.

Raafi Rivero
Brooklyn, NY
June, 2020