Floyd’s death and the video of Chauvin kneeling around Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes last summer sparked the movement for racial equality and social justice in sports.
A jury of six whites, four blacks and two men of mixed races deliberated for nine hours over two days – five hours on Monday, four hours on Tuesday – before reaching a verdict. ABCNews.com has a full report on the decision.
Chauvin risks a maximum sentence of 40 years for second-degree manslaughter, 25 years for third-degree murder and 10 years for second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin’s bail was immediately revoked and he will be sentenced in eight weeks.
George Floyd was murdered a year ago and caused unimaginable pain and trauma to his family, the Minneapolis community and communities across the country, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota NBA Bobcats said Tuesday in a joint statement. Our deepest thoughts are with the Floyd family after this unjust tragedy. Throughout our history, racial and social inequalities have become ingrained in our society.
We hope today’s decision is a step forward, but it will not ease the physical and emotional pain that remains in an environment where systemic racism exists.
– Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) April 20, 2021
Floyd’s death led to protests across the country and athletes from around the world spoke out about social and racial injustice. Former NBA player Stephen Jackson was in Minnesota the week of Floyd’s death and said: I’m hurt, I’m angry, but I’m not afraid of this emotional speech alongside fellow NBA players Karl Anthony Towns and Josh Okogie. Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown drove 15 hours to a protest march in Atlanta.
NBA and WNBA players have often spoken out, and both leagues have extended their seasons with Black Lives Matter on the court. By peacefully protesting, we must demand strong leadership at all levels that is also committed to true social justice, the National Women’s Basketball Players Association said in a statement the week after Floyd’s death.
As news of Floyd’s death spread, LeBron James posted a message on Twitter with a picture of Floyd along with a picture of Colin Kaepernick and wrote: Do you understand NOW!!!? Magic Johnson tweeted: How many times do we have to watch black people being murdered on national television? Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr tweeted: This is murder. It’s disgusting. Seriously, what is going on with US ????.
James tweeted one word on Tuesday: RESPONSIBILITY.
On Tuesday, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association issued a joint statement: We are pleased that justice appears to have been done, but add that much remains to be done. The WNBA said the ruling was a step toward justice.
Atlanta Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan said Tuesday that he wasn’t sure the team’s game against the Orlando Magic would have been played if the decision had gone the other way.
As a league, we didn’t really know if we were going to play this game, McMillan said. … I feel like the jury did their job. You have to hold everyone accountable for your actions. The jury found him guilty on all three charges. I think they did their job.
Last spring, a group of NFL players, including Patrick Mahomes, appeared in a video on Twitter that began with It has been 10 days since George Floyd was brutally murdered. How many times do we have to ask you to listen to your players? And what would that be? That one of us will be killed by police brutality? And I ask, what if I were George Floyd?
At the NFL’s season opener in September, the Minnesota Vikings honored Floyd’s family with a moment of silence during the opening game and silenced the team name Gjallarhorn in his honor.
Sir, I want to thank you for your support. George Floyd should be here with us today, the NFL said in a statement Tuesday.
In the NFL, before the season began, each team played Lift Everyice And Sing, often called the black national anthem, and players wore the names of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other black men and women killed by police on the back of their helmets.
The year since George Floyd’s death has been extremely painful for the Minnesota community, especially the state’s black residents, the Vikings said Tuesday in a statement. Even if today’s solution does not reduce suffering or solve the unbearable problems of racism and hatred, we hope it can be the beginning of the community’s healing.
Today, more than ever, it is important that we listen, communicate and participate in a respectful way in order to move forward towards a just society. … Our work has just begun. Our commitment is unwavering.
– Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) April 20, 2021
– Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) April 20, 2021
Minnesota: United. pic.twitter.com/6lsedMdHcB
– Minnesota United (@MNUFC) 20. April 2021
Tennis star Naomi Osaka wore the names of black men killed by police on her masks during her seven U.S. Open tennis matches. When the reporter asked her what message she wanted to convey, she replied: Well, what you got was more of a question. I feel like it’s about getting people to talk.
Osaka said Tuesday that she had mixed feelings about the decision.
I was going to send a celebratory tweet, but I was struck with sadness as we celebrate something as bright as the day, Osaka tweeted. The fact that so many injustices have led us to hold our breath for such an outcome speaks volumes.
The USC football team said it had postponed Tuesday’s practice to take time to discuss the racial injustices that prevail in our society and in our daily lives.
The Major League Baseball Players Association said it remains committed to the hard work of healing and advancing the cause of civil rights and equal rights under the law. The Major League Baseball Players Association said it will continue to work with its players for social justice, equality, diversity and inclusion.
Floyd was born on the 25th. May was killed after Minneapolis police responded to a call shortly after 8 p.m. about possible tampering at a local grocery store. Floyd, who said he was claustrophobic, lay handcuffed and face down in the street as officers tried to get him into a patrol car.
Chauvin used his knee to stroke Floyd’s neck as onlookers yelled at him to stop. The video shows Floyd crying several times, I can’t breathe, before limping away. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. He was 46 years old.
Police first issued a statement that Floyd died from a medical incident. A bystander’s video was posted online the next day, and as protests grew in Minneapolis and across the country, police said the FBI would investigate. Chauvin and three other officers were eventually fired when Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey filed criminal charges against Chauvin.
Chauvin, 45, a 19-year veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, was arrested on the 29th. May was arrested and charged with third degree murder and manslaughter. The charges were later upgraded to second degree manslaughter, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
Then the protests in Minneapolis and across the country on the 1st. In June, the district medical examiner concluded that Floyd’s heart stopped beating when police arrested him and squeezed his neck, noting that Floyd had a major health problem and listing fentanyl and methamphetamine use as other major conditions.
During the trial, the prosecutor argued that Chauvin was responsible for Floyd’s death by holding his knee to his neck. The defense claimed he died as a result of drugs in his system and pre-existing medical conditions.
Three other officers have also been arrested and will be tried this summer.
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