On Tuesday, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter following the death of George Floyd.
Video of Floyd’s death had a profound impact on the world of sports. During the NBA restart in Orlando, “Black Lives Matter” messaging could be seen on the baselines of the courts and players were allowed to display social justice messages on the back of their jerseys.
The NFL played “Lift Every Voice And Sing,” which is considered the black national anthem, before each teams season opener.
After the Chauvin verdict, reactions from leading athletes and sports leagues came pouring in.
“George Floyd’s murder was a flash point for how we look at race and justice in our country, and we are pleased that justice appears to have been served,” the NBA said in a statement. “But we also recognize that there is much work to be done and the National Basketball Association and the Basketball Players Association, together with our newly-formed Social Justice Coalition, will redouble our efforts to advocate for meaningful change in the areas of criminal justice and policing.”
The following was released by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/taSKKJa2Sc
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) April 20, 2021
“While we hope the end of the trial offers a chance for healing,” the NHL said in their statement, “we remain committed to actively engaging in the movement for equality and we invite our fans to join us in supporting systemic change.”
National Hockey League Statement following today’s verdict in Minneapolis. pic.twitter.com/hODghaQ25H
— NHL (@NHL) April 20, 2021
“Today’s outcome in the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis does not undo the loss of life,” the NFL said in a statement. “Mr. George Floyd should be here with us today. Our hearts remain with the Floyd family, and we understand the pain, anger and frustration does not go away even when justice is delivered.”
“Importantly, even as we identify reasons for hope, we must continue to help move our society toward a more equal and just tomorrow. We are proud to partner with NFL players and clubs and remain to do the important work needed to make positive change in our society.”
— NFL (@NFL) April 20, 2021
A handful of sports organizations along with numerous sports figures also reacted on social media.
Today our thoughts, prayers, & condolences remain with George Floyd’s family, & others that have recently been devastated by violence. The Dodgers will continue to support and encourage awareness and commit resources in the effort to address systemic inequity & social injustice.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 20, 2021
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 20, 2021
— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) April 20, 2021
Thank God…guilty! Justice has been served!!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 20, 2021
JUSTICE – SERVED – no other verdict could have been rendered than GUILTY !
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) April 20, 2021
Got Damn right!!! 🗣GUILTY!!!
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) April 20, 2021
Chauvin faces a 40-year maximum sentence for the second-degree unintentional murder conviction, a 25-year sentence for third-degree murder and a 10-year sentence for second-degree manslaughter.
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