The United States was swept by protests and outrage this weekend following the death of George Floyd while in police custody last Monday, sparking a reaction from the sports world as well. In response, leagues, teams, and athletes shared messages of unity, understanding, and frustration. Here are a select few:
– While many athletes referenced Colin Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality, the NFL issued a statement offering condolences to Floyd’s family and stating its willingness to “address these systemic issues together.” However, it did not reference Kaepernick, which drew criticism.
– The San Francisco 49ers and owner Jed York announced a $1 million donation to “local and national organizations who are creating change.” Eric Reid, who protested with Kaepernick while both were on the 49ers, wrote on Twitter, “Nobody wants your money Jed. We want justice. We’ve always wanted justice. Y’all are truly diluted.”
– In an internal NBA memo, Commissioner Adam Silver told league office employees that the league shares “the outrage,” and that “we always say that sports have often been the bridge in society that helps build trust and empathy so we can face hard truths and real challenges together. That is our responsibility especially now.”
– Several Bundesliga players showed their support for Floyd during this weekend’s matches, including U.S. Men’s National Team and Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie, who wore an armband that said ‘Justice for George.’
– Michael Jordan, who has been criticized for not taking stands on social issues in the past, issued a statement that said “We have had enough.”