Players, managers react to death of George Floyd

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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.

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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)

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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.