The reverberation during the sport came quickly according to a judging panel in Minnesota sentenced on Tuesday Derek Chauvin Assassinating George Floyd as athletes, teams and leagues weighed on the verdict in a case that reignited heated debate over racism and policing in the United States.
“ACCOUNTABILITY”, the top NBA star, LeBron James, said in a one word post on Twitter after Chauvin was convicted of second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter.
After this FloydMurder last May and the death of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other black victims of violence, Athletes from all sports spent much of the past year engaging in numerous activitiest efforts to address issues of racial justice and voting rights.
Something take to the streets to join the protests That emerged across the country after Floyd’s murder, even though the games had been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. Others focused on Chauvin’s case and others when the competitions resumedwith statements, public presentations and other forms of protest. Soon the leagues themselves began to express their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and general issues of combating racism and systemic inequalities.
“The George Floyd murder was a focal point for the way we view race and justice in our country, and we are delighted that justice seems to have served,” said Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA and Michele Roberts, executive director of the players’ union , said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
“While this ruling represents a step towards justice, we are reminded that too often justice is not the outcome for people with color,” said Cathy Engelbert, commissioner for the WNBA
The WNBA dedicated its 2020 season to social justice. That summer after the NBA resumed its season near Orlando, Florida, the Milwaukee Bucks players staged a strike to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. This created disruptions that involved hundreds of athletes from baseball, soccer, hockey, and tennis.
“I wanted to make a celebratory tweet, but then I was sad because we are celebrating something that is clear as a day,” said tennis star Naomi Osaka of Chauvin’s verdict. Osaka caused a tournament to stop the game when she was about to step out of solidarity with the Bucks and other athletes who didn’t play after Blake was shot. “The fact that so many injustices have occurred that have made us hold our breath at this outcome is truly telling.”
At least one attempt to respond to the ruling, by the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, stalled and was ridiculed. They posted a picture on Twitter with the words “I can breathe” and the date Tuesday, an obvious reference to some of Floyd’s final words, including “I can’t breathe”.
Late Tuesday, Mark Davis, the owner of the Raiders, told The Athletic he was in charge of the post and said the words refer to Floyd’s brother Philonese Floyd, who said at a press conference following the verdict, “Today, we can breathe again. “
Davis also said he was unaware that supporters of the New York Police Department wore “I can breathe” t-shirts after Eric Garner died in 2014.
Davis told The Athletic“If I have insulted the family, I am deeply disappointed.”
Several Minnesota-based clubs expressed their condolences to Floyd’s family.
“Throughout our history, racial and social inequalities have established themselves in our society. We are confident that today’s decision will serve as progress, but it does not alleviate the physical and emotional pain that persists in an environment of systemic racism, ”said the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx said in a joint publication.
Karl-Anthony Towns, the star of the Timberwolves, who also joined protests after Floyd’s murder, said in a Twitter post, “Justice and Accountability! Things I never thought I’d see There is still a lot to be done but this is an amazing start to working towards the reform this country needs! “