On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis resident George Floyd was killed by Derek Chauvin, a member of the Minneapolis police department. Floyd was restrained by Chauvin after having been suspected of forgery. Chavin extrajudicially kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, killing him, even after Floyd said, “I can’t breathe.” Three other police officers (Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas K. Lane) watched, refusing to intervene.
Floyd’s death sparked worldwide protests against police brutality. The last week has seen protests in Minneapolis as well as Louisville, Chicago, New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Detroit, Omaha, and Columbus among many other cities. Protesters have been injured and killed, and journalists have been targeted by the police as well.
Naturally, players and managers were affected in various ways by the news and they have reacted to Floyd’s death and the ensuing protests. Here is just a smattering of what’s been said by those across the league.
Racism is engrained in our society/culture and the world seems incapable of change. To change the world we must begin with ourselves. Truly look in the mirror and identify if you’re part of the problem or the solution. Your true colors will always be revealed!
Racism is thriving in America. That’s a fact. If you choose to turn a blind eye towards it…you’re part of the problem that will continue to destroy this nation. Wake up and look in the mirror!
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) May 31, 2020
Enough is Enough. It’s going to take everyone to help this system change. No matter your color or attributes, We are all human, who know what’s right deep down. Making a real change will be Justice for Floyd & everyone who came before him. Let’s all be a part of the change🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/SERaY4K34X
To my black friends, teammates, colleagues, and all affected by racism: I see you. I hear you. I stand beside you. pic.twitter.com/N44JgieZ9T
— Trevor Williams (@MeLlamoTrevor) May 30, 2020
I feel for #GeorgeFloyd. He should be alive. I dont want pity, I want change.
George Floyd should be breathing right now. We have a lot of progress to make. A lot. Remember his name. Remember what happened.
— Rocco Baldelli (@roccodbaldelli) May 27, 2020
Here’s the thing. I know it’s hard to fully grasp why black people are outraged. It’s hard to grasp unless you’ve seen people hold their purses tighter when you walk by, when you have people refer to you as “not black” when you’re not “ghetto”. When your parents have to give you a talk when you’re just a kid. “you can’t act like your white friends. you’ll get killed. they won’t” This is a generational discussion EVERY black family has. It terrifies you as a kid, and as an adult. You don’t understand why we know, those officers didn’t flinch at murdering that man, because he is black. The race card. We hold it. You tell us “it’s not about race” if we ever hold you to it. You don’t want us to have even that 1 bone chilling “privilege” of defense. You don’t want us to hold any privilege. We don’t hold the privilege of being a criminal, making a mistake, or simply taking a jog, the same as a white man, and being treated the same. He couldn’t breathe. He was murdered. They were gently fired from their jobs. This isn’t right. This can’t go on. (if you assume “you”, is you, and you’re upset about the generalization…… just think about that for a second)
A post shared by Dexter Fowler (@dexterfowler) on May 28, 2020 at 11:43am PDT
So, here's my message to my white brothers and sisters out there….please reach out to your friends who have a different skin color than you. Encourage them. Tell them you love them. Tell them they're awesome. It's important. Our voices and actions matter to help us recover
The quotes in Monte’s piece are on point, and the George Floyd murder is equal parts shameful and maddening. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." https://t.co/zXP7JPvQG5
— gabe kapler (@gabekapler) May 28, 2020
I believe the word antiracist is important. I believe hearing the words from people who have experienced racism and its effects are important. And I believe action is important. https://t.co/bFwqr0eTfb
— gabe kapler (@gabekapler) May 29, 2020
— Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) May 29, 2020
I wish America cared about black folks as much as they care about buildings
— Cole Tucker (@cotuck) May 29, 2020
Don’t worry what your friends or family will think. Don’t worry what clients you may lose or how you are viewed by other people. Take a stand and call it for what it is.. #GeorgeFloydWasMurdered in broad daylight. He couldn’t breathe.
— Taylor Trammell (@Taytram24) May 29, 2020
Kudos to these players and managers, as well as many others who have spoken out within the last week. No one should “stick to sports,” but especially not now. It is important for them to use their vast platforms to try and effect social change.