SportsPulse: New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty has always been a vocal member of Player’s Coalition on social issues. He shared his perspective on George Floyd’s death to Mackenzie Salmon.
George Floyd’s death after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, as shown in a video that was posted online, has reignited the conversation around racism, police brutality and unequal treatment by law enforcement in the United States.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday, and is facing third-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Floyd, who was 46 years old. All four officers involved in Monday’s incident were fired Tuesday.
This painful moment has led to protests around the country, most notably in Minneapolis.Many figures in the sports world also have weighed in on the situation in Minnesota and the discussion that continues around racial inequality. Here’s what current and former athletes, coaches and others involved with sports have posted to social media:
“Enough is enough! It’s time for change!” the reigning NBA MVP wrote on Twitter.
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) May 31, 2020
The Miami Dolphins released a statement by their head coach, who wrote in part, “My message to them and anyone else who wants to listen is that honesty, transparency, and empathy go a long way in bringing people together and making change.”
Statement from Head Coach Brian Flores. pic.twitter.com/dJOdHHSvNT
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) May 29, 2020
The tennis player posted a video to Twitter, wondering “Am I Next?”
Burrow, the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, national champion at LSU and the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner, posted to Twitter, “The black community needs our help. They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights.”
The black community needs our help. They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights.
— Joey Burrow (@Joe_Burrow10) May 29, 2020
The Detroit Pistons head coach released a statement remembering growing up in segregated, rural Kentucky and whether or not his eight-year-old son will have those same experiences.
Pistons coach Dwane Casey releases a powerful message. pic.twitter.com/xx7xg3QPlo
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) May 30, 2020
The Minnesota Golden Gophers head football coach released a statement on Twitter, saying in part, “(George Floyd’s) death was indefensible, and I stand with the community in asking for accountability and justice.”
The University of Wisconsin released a statement by its athletics director, who wrote in part, “I want to acknowledge the pain that the African-American students, coaches and staff in our department and community are feeling about this incident. It’s hard to put into words and impossible to relate to. But make no mistake, it is a priority for our athletic department to make sure that voices are heard and support is provided.”
Statement from Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez pic.twitter.com/KS8Al5aFsr
— Wisconsin Badgers (@UWBadgers) May 29, 2020
The owner of the Atlanta Falcons said in his message “The public discourse on these and other issues is too divisive, too political. These are not political issues, they are human issues that need serious, earnest attention from leaders and citizens alike who understand that diversity is our strength and fair treatment is everyone’s right. Open, honest dialogue is needed on a much greater scale.”
The Kentucky Wildcats basketball coach wrote in part on Twitter, “Whether you’re talking George Floyd or a number of other incidents that have happened in our country and in our backyard, I’m sick because I cannot believe one human being could treat another human being the way we’ve seen with some of these injustices.”
Like many of you, I’ve been watching what’s been going on the last couple of days and have had some time to think about it and pray about it. All I can tell you is I’m sick.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) May 30, 2020
The former NFL quarterback expressed support for the protesters in Minneapolis.
When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction.
The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance.
We have the right to fight back!
Rest in Power George Floyd
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) May 28, 2020
Kaepernick also pledged to provide legal assistance for Minneapolis protesters.
In fighting for liberation there‘s always retaliation. We must protect our Freedom Fighters. We started a legal defense initiative to give legal representation to Freedom Fighters in Minneapolis paid for by @yourrightscamp
For representation or to donate https://t.co/q0pzAObCiG
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) May 29, 2020
The Washington Wizards all-star posted to Twitter: “The world will never grow until we are comfortable having the uncomfortable talks and taking action upon them!!!!”
The world will never grow until we are comfortable having the uncomfortable talks and taking action upon them!!!!
Racism, Discrimination, Gangs, Sexism, Police Brutality, Guns, Drugs, Systematic Injustice, etc… all social issues we need to FIX!!!!
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) May 29, 2020
The Washington Huskies men’s basketball coach met with his team on Friday.
— Coach Mike Hopkins (@Coach_Hopkins) May 30, 2020
The World Cup-winning U.S. women’s soccer star tweeted, “So sickened beyond words by the brutal police killing of George Floyd. When will all Americans be treated and respected equally regardless of race and gender?? We are yearning for true leadership and inclusivity from the top.”
So sickened beyond words by the brutal police killing of George Floyd. When will all Americans be treated and respected equally regardless of race and gender?? We are yearning for true leadership and inclusivity from the top.
— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) May 29, 2020
The New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl defensive end pondered on Twitter, “For every recorded “incident” (murder) how many get swept under the table when not recorded?”
For every recorded “incident” (murder) how many get swept under the table when not recorded? When people don’t have emotional and overwhelming outburst reactions to an American dying by what’s supposed to be a body of governing forces that’s sworn to PROTECT AND SERVE?
— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) May 29, 2020
The NBA star posted an image to his Instagram account of George Floyd alongside Colin Kaepernick kneeling with the message, “Do you understand NOW!!??!!??”
The Basketball Hall of Famer posted to Twitter, “How many times do we have to see black men killed on national television? This has been going on for entirely too long. We need to start seeing black people as human beings and not animals on the street.”
George Floyd was clearly murdered by a Minneapolis police officer. How many times do we have to see black men killed on national television? This has been going on for entirely too long. We need to start seeing black people as human beings and not animals on the street.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 27, 2020
Marlon Hairston, Ike Opara, Michael Boxall
The Minnesota United players responded to George Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests.
Hard to sleep thru everything that’s going on outside in the streets out here. Crazy times but wishing safety to everyone. #minneapolisriots
— Marlon Hairston (@MARLYG94) May 28, 2020
From George Floyd, to Amy Cooper, to Tom Austin…it is beyond exhausting. You can choose to be blind about the injustices, broken systems, and privileges…or choose to educate yourself and overcome your biases.
— Ike Opara (@ikeopara) May 27, 2020
Unemployment doesn’t seem like a fitting punishment for murder. https://t.co/kMZf5S1xZ6
— Michael Boxall (@boxy) May 27, 2020
The Boston Celtics guard tweeted that he’d be peacefully protesting on Saturday.
I will be peacefully protesting tommorow
— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) May 30, 2020
The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback posted a message on Twitter, saying, “All I know is that the institutional racism in this country breaks my heart and needs to stop.”
Zach and Julie Ertz
Wentz’s Eagles teammate posted a message to Twitter on behalf of himself and his wife, U.S. national soccer team player Julie Ertz, “Julie and I are standing with you all during this time, solely out of love. I will not believe that the America of the past is going to be the America of the future.”
The Clemson quarterback posted to Twitter, “I’m siding with my brothers that deal, and continuously deal, with things I will never experience. The injustice is clear.. and so is the hate.”
I’m siding with my brothers that deal, and continuously deal, with things I will never experience. The injustice is clear.. and so is the hate. It can no longer be explained away. If you’re still “explaining” it – check your heart and ask why.
— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) May 29, 2020
The Minnesota Timberwolves coach wrote on Instagram that his “heart shatters” for what transpired in Minneapolis.
The Golden State Warriors coach wrote on Twitter, “This is murder. Disgusting. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with US????”
This is murder. Disgusting. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with US???? https://t.co/wesEwd4Bb2
— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerr) May 26, 2020
Odell Beckham, Jr.
The Cleveland Browns receiver posted to Twitter, “Worlds honestly sickening. It really is….. no explanation.”
Worlds honestly sickening. It really is….. no explanation
— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) May 27, 2020
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The Browns safety wrote a message on Instagram, “There’s no way to justify this situation I don’t care what this man did or didn’t do, he did not deserve this! And if you try to justify it in any way you’re part of the problem.”
View this post on Instagram
I was asked this question the other day and it’s been weighing heavy on my heart. “ would I be able to stand there and watch this man die or would it have to be a family member for me to act and help”. To be honest idk what I would do in that moment was my initial answer, because of the fear of losing my own life and my daughter having to grow up without a father. But then I thought to myself there’s no way I could stand there and watch one of my little brothers or family member get killed like that And if They were in that situation I’d want somebody to help them. This man was somebody’s father, brother and more. Our Fear of those that are meant to “Protect US” shouldn’t be so immense that we are scared to do what’s right. This isn’t a post to bash white people or cops because there are plenty of good white people in this world and plenty of good white cops that are great at their jobs to “protect&serve” But wrong is wrong!!! There’s no way to justify this situation I don’t care what this man did or didn’t do, he did not deserve this! And if you try to justify it in any way you’re part of the problem. There’s 4 cops ,he’s handcuffed and face down, there’s 3 cops with their knees and full body weight on this man and 1 just standing there doing absolutely nothing! At no point did any of them say that’s enough put him in the car. Had no Remorse. WRONG IS WRONG! How do you justify this? How would you feel if that was your brother, friend, husband, boyfriend etc.? Do you think this would’ve happened if it was a White man? How many more situations like this needs to happen for a change to take place? Does this not bother you? Please ask yourself these questions. Racism&Hate are taught, we aren’t born that way. We Have to make this country and world better for our kids and next generations. And that start Within , Stand up for what’s RIGHT! #georgefloyd #justiceforgeorgefloyd
A post shared by Karl Joseph 🇭🇹 (@k_joseph42) on
The San Jose Sharks player wrote on Twitter, “This makes my blood (expletive) boil! All four “officers” need to be jailed for life and it still wouldn’t be enough. The video is all anyone needs to see.”
— Evander Kane (@evanderkane_9) May 26, 2020
The former NFL player and college football coach posted to Twitter, “My generation had a chance to change much of this illogical hatred, and we whiffed, ignoring chances to change old racist attitudes.”
My generation had a chance to change much of this illogical hatred, and we whiffed, ignoring chances to change old racist attitudes. Though there has been progress in some areas, in other ways we are back to the sixties. No excuse. I’m partially responsible, humbled and sorry.
— Bill Curry (@coachbillcurry) May 29, 2020
“There remains an urgent need for action. We recognize the power of our platform in communities and as part of the fabric of American society. We embrace that responsibility and are committed to continuing the important work to address these systemic issues together with our players, clubs and partners,” the NFL commissioner wrote in a statement.
“I refuse to believe that the most powerful country in the world cannot be better than this, that we can’t stand up for one another and the rights that each of us have been given by God,” the George Washington University basketball coach wrote in a statement.
The Minnesota native and Winnipeg Jets captain took to Twitter with a statement that read in part: “We need to stand with the black community and fundamentally change how the leadership in this country has dealt with racism.”
I needed to say something in my own words. pic.twitter.com/VpkidaMjbX
— Blake Wheeler (@BiggieFunke) May 31, 2020
The San Francisco 49ers CEO said the organization would be “donating $1 million to local and national organizations who are creating change.”
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