The death of George Floyd has caused civil unrest in America — in the days since his murder on May 25th in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we have seen protests, ongoing police brutality, and a complete lack of leadership from the White House. In its absence, athletes, teams and leagues have been using their voices to call for justice and reform.
The GIST: The death of George Floyd has caused civil unrest in America — in the days since his murder on May 25th in Minneapolis, Minnesota, we have seen protests, ongoing police brutality, and a complete lack of leadership from the White House. In its absence, athletes, teams and leagues have been using their voices to call for justice and reform.
The athletes: With Minneapolis as the epicenter of protests, this weekend, Minnesota Timberwolves players like Karl-Anthony Towns (who, BTW, also recently lost his mother to COVID-19) and Josh Okogie joined others inside City Hall to stand for George Floyd. Elsewhere in Minneapolis, former NBA player Royce White and former Green Bay Packer Darrell Thompson organized a march.
- Meanwhile, Boston Celtic Jaylen Brown drove 15 hours to his hometown of Atlanta to peacefully protest there alongside Indiana Pacer Malcolm Brogdon. Many other athletes, including tennis, soccer and hockey players, have joined the movement via social media.
The teams: Many teams across North America, including all Minnesota teams — Vikings (NFL), Timberwolves (NBA), Lynx (WNBA), Wild (NHL) and Twins (MLB) — have commented publicly on George Floyd’s death, with the Lynx and Timberwolves saying their “community is grieving.”
- The University of Minnesota has taken it a step further, condemning the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) and announcing that they will no longer hire MPD officers as security for their football games.
The leagues: The NFL — a league that has ostracized quarterback Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee during the national anthem in peaceful protest — has now recognized an “urgent need for action” (and Kaepernick has started a legal defense fund for arrested protesters).
- The WNBA and CFL also tweeted statements, along with the NHLPA, while the NHL and NBA shared many of its players’ and teams’ reactions and statements. The MLB has remained silent. As WNBA player Natasha Cloud pointed out in her powerful op-ed, staying silent speaks volumes.
The GIST team: We are heartbroken. We are angry. We are desperate for change. We are part of a sports community that we know feels the same, and we are so proud of those who have used their platforms to demand action, accountability and justice. We stand with them and for them. For more on how you can support click here.