Many people are suddenly discovering there are unintended consequences when they promote divisive messages.

Perhaps this controversy will start one of those “discussions” that campus progressives seem to cherish so much?

The Notre Dame women’s basketball team met with representatives of the local police union after they wore t-shirts with the phrase “I Can’t Breathe” on them last weekend.

The team, which had their coach’s permission to wear the shirts, says that their only intent was “to show sympathy for family members of those who have died in the recent confrontations,” not to criticize law enforcement.

But others didn’t take it that way. The Elkhart Truth reports:

One Mishawaka police officer who runs a store in South Bend began selling T-shirts that say, “Breathe easy, don’t break the law.”

Meanwhile, Brenda Reimer, the mother of one of the players, earlier this week posted on Facebook photos her daughter was mailed anonymously showing a team jersey set on fire.

“Last weekend my daughter and her teammates showed sympathy for a family who had lost someone. Today, she came home to this,” Reimer wrote.

Sgt. Dan Demler, president of the South Bend Fraternal Order of Police lodge, said the meeting on Friday helped each side better understand the other’s viewpoint, but he declined to describe the talks in detail.

“It was just a healthy discussion about why we stand the way we stand, why we took issue with it,” he said. “This whole deal is something that has completely spiraled out of control locally and nationally, so to go into detail about it, I just think this thing could get worse and worse.”

Pasquale Rulli, president of the Mishawaka FOP Lodge No. 91, said that all parties at the meeting agreed “to avoid speaking further about the matter in public.”