Athletes React on Twitter to Not Guilty Verdict in Trayvon Martin Case
On Saturday night, George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter in the February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, per CNN's Greg Botelho.
Many prominent athletes paid attention to the trial as it unfolded. Twitter reaction was rampant when a six-person jury decided Zimmerman's fate.
Opinions varied across the board, but general sentiment tended to empathize with Martin.
Victor Cruz expressed his sentiments (h/t ridethepine.com), but deleted the tweet not long after posting it.
Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry thought that the lesser charge was certain for Zimmerman but was rather shocked to learn of the verdict going in Zimmerman's favor:
Watched a lot of the case...though manslaughter was a definite! Thinking about everyone involved especially the Martin family— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) July 14, 2013
Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade tied in his experiences as a father when he tweeted his feelings on the matter:
Wow!!! Stunned!!! Saddened as a father!!! Some1 make sense of this verdict for me right now please!!! Don't worry I'll wait...— THREE (@DwyaneWade) July 14, 2013
Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul was nearly at a loss for words but sent his regards to the Martins:
WoW!!! Prayers out to the Martin family...— Chris Paul (@CP3) July 14, 2013
Clippers swingman Jared Dudley compared the outcome to another high-profile case in Florida:
Between Casey Anthony and Zimmerman the state of Florida is looking real bad!— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) July 14, 2013
Chicago Bulls center Nazr Mohammed had conflicting feelings on the jury's verdict himself but pondered the consequences with regard to future cases:
Dont know what the appropriate punishment is but this sets an ugly precedence. Gotta feeling were gonna see more cases like this. #profiling— Nazr Mohammed (@NazrMohammed) July 14, 2013
Retired NBA All-Star Shaquille O'Neal was in disbelief:
George Zimmerman not guilty can u believe that. Wow— SHAQ (@SHAQ) July 14, 2013
Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins made a sweeping generalization to express his frustration:
America justice system is a joke.— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) July 14, 2013
Miami Marlins outfielder Bryan Petersen chimed in and provided a rare defense of those who defended Zimmerman:
If you trusted the justice system to find a man guilty, you must trust it when it finds a man not guilty, or it's just partiality you seek— Bryan Petersen (@Peteypipes) July 14, 2013
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers tried to look at the broader, long-term ramifications of Martin's case in the immediate aftermath:
I hope everyone can see the BIGGER picture if this trial ... his story was heard, his voice was heard RIP Trayvon Benjamin Martin— Da'Quan Bowers (@DaQuanBowers91) July 14, 2013
Former University of North Carolina basketball star Sean May hoped that violence wouldn't be a consequence stemming from the verdict:
That was echoed by New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma:
I get if you're mad about the verdict. I don't get going out and looting/rioting 5min from where you live. Be constructive not destructive— Jonathan Vilma (@JonVilma51) July 14, 2013
Some of the more blunt, uncensored reactions came from Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson and Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White:
Living in a world where you fight dogs; you could lose everything (Mike Vick).. If you kill a black man you're not guilty! #INjusticeSystem— STVN (@StevieJohnson13) July 14, 2013
All them jurors should go home tonight and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) July 14, 2013
White later apologized for his post-verdict tweet:
I understand my tweet last nite was extreme. I never meant for the people to do that. I was shocked and upset about the verdict. I am sorry.— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) July 14, 2013
Boston Celtics big man Jared Sullinger opted to focus on Martin's parents and how they might be feeling:
My heart and soul goes out to the Trayvons parents. I feel their pain. Unlike a lot of you ruthless ppl I have a heart and it feels for them— Jared Sullinger (@Jared_Sully0) July 14, 2013
Regardless of the verdict they will never see their son again. That hurts so bad. Like I'm hurt for them. #crushed— Jared Sullinger (@Jared_Sully0) July 14, 2013
This is a case that is likely to go down as one of the most significant in American history, and many more are bound to weigh in—especially given additional time to digest the jury's verdict.
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