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How athletes and sports organizations reacted to the Derek Chauvin trial verdict.

April 22, 2021 by  
Filed under News

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( While the coronavirus pandemic was the biggest story of 2020, the global protests and uprisings as the result of unarmed Black people being killed by the police were a major part of the entire year. The murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd by police particularly drew national and global attention. Much of the sports world reacted including some NBA teams going on a temporary strike and sports teams having to be public regarding denouncing racism. On April 20, 2021, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter by a jury for the murder of George Floyd in May 2020. It was a historic decision which emphasized how many people of all ethnicities and backgrounds around the world realized how inhumanely Floyd was killed as it played out on video and also showed how often police brutality against people of color often doesn’t result in legal punishment for cops.

The Minnesota Timberwolves won their NBA game against the Sacramento Kings the same night as the Chauvin trial verdict and dedicated the game ball to George Floyd’s family. New Orleans Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy spoke with reporters prior to his team’s game after Chauvin had been found guilty and had a big picture approach. Van Gundy said, “I guess what you wonder out of all this is, is it going to change anything? Is it going to change anything? It was a just verdict. But will it have larger implications? Will it force us or motivate us to explore better policing and solving the immense problem of racial justice. Is it going to do any of that, is it going to move us forward on any of that? Or is this just an isolated verdict on one where we had clear video evidence?”

Derek Chauvin trial verdict

There were also a lot of reactions by athletes and sports organizations via social media to the Chauvin trial verdict. Here are some of the notable reactions to the verdict:

“I was going to make a celebratory tweet but then I was hit with sadness because we are celebrating something that is clear as day. The fact that so many injustices occurred to make us hold our breath toward this outcome is really telling.”-Tennis star Naomi Osaka

“ACCOUNTABILITY”Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James

“Remember, the jurors only did the right thing. Nothing special, not above & beyond. They held Derek Chauvin accountable for his actions under the law. That was their job, & they did it. We just aren’t use to seeing it. This was the verdict we as a country deserved.”-ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark

“WAY MORE WORK TO DO.”Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young

“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.  But we also recognize that there is much work to be done and the National Basketball Association and the National 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.”- NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a joint statement

Staff Writer; Mark Hines

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