LeBron, Colin Kaepernick, Michael Jordan, More Speak on George Floyd's Death

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2014 file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James wears a T-shirt reading
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

LeBron James, Colin Kaepernick, Michael Jordan and Joe Burrow are among the athletes, coaches and organizations speaking about the need for racial justice and equality and to end police violence after George Floyd died while Minneapolis police officers had him in custody.

Video of the interactions between police and Floyd leading up to his death Monday showed Derek Chauvin with his knee on Floyd's neck for an extended period of time while the 46-year-old said he was in pain and couldn't breathe, per CNN.

Police were responding to a call about an alleged forgery and were in the process of arresting Floyd. The four officers involved were fired from the police department but had not been charged in the case as of Thursday, sparking widespread protests. However, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday Chauvin was taken into custody by the Minnesota Bureau of Investigation and has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, per CNN's Dakin Andone, Sara Sidner and Faith Karimi.

Here's a look at the reaction from the sports world:


Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James:

AJ+ @ajplus

"Do you understand NOW?" @KingJames and @JanetJackson drew parallels between police kneeling on #GeorgeFloyd's neck as he gasped for air and Colin Kaepernick's silent protests against police violence. https://t.co/G56kQvuyvx

LeBron James @KingJames

Why Doesn’t America Love US!!!!!????TOO. 😭😭🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️ #HeadHighandStayStrong🙏🏾💪🏾 #WeAllWeGot✊🏾👑


NFL free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick:

Colin Kaepernick @Kaepernick7

When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction. The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance. We have the right to fight back! Rest in Power George Floyd


Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson:

Estee Portnoy @esteep

Statement From Michael Jordan https://t.co/lnXYMhtvo3

Earvin Magic Johnson @MagicJohnson

George Floyd was clearly murdered by a Minneapolis police officer. How many times do we have to see black men killed on national television? This has been going on for entirely too long. We need to start seeing black people as human beings and not animals on the street.


Cincinnati Bengals' Joe Burrow, Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes and Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson:

Joey Burrow @Joe_Burrow10

The black community needs our help. They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights.

Patrick Mahomes II @PatrickMahomes


Russell Wilson @DangeRussWilson



Former NBA players Stephen Jackson, Jalen Rose and Dwyane Wade:


“I haven’t been the same since I’ve seen it.” Watch @craigmelvin’s full interview with Stephen Jackson, a former NBA player and lifelong friend of George Floyd, who died while in Minneapolis police custody. https://t.co/4qsdbBMxeB

Sharon Yoo @SharonKARE11

Stephen Jackson sharing his thoughts on the death of his “twin,” #GeorgeFloyd he said he and Floyd were friends for 20+ years. @kare11 https://t.co/vCPkcVGGUf

Jalen Rose @JalenRose

#icantbreathe. https://t.co/RElIr7YQz3

DWade @DwyaneWade



New York Yankees legend and Miami Marlins part owner Derek Jeter:

Miami Marlins @Marlins



PGA Tour star Tiger Woods:

Tiger Woods @TigerWoods



Philadelphia Eagles' Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz:

Carson Wentz @cj_wentz

🙏🏻 https://t.co/HFFVWVlwYj

Zach Ertz @ZERTZ_86

With LOVE, https://t.co/SVfBYQkAPa


Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Ryan Saunders Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers and Detroit Pistons head coach Dwane Casey:

Jon Krawczynski @JonKrawczynski

Wolves Coach Ryan Saunders is almost never on social media. He took to Instagram today to speak out on George Floyd’s death https://t.co/tZyoqG4v7y

Steve Kerr @SteveKerr

This is murder. Disgusting. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with US???? https://t.co/wesEwd4Bb2

LA Clippers @LAClippers

A statement on behalf of @DocRivers and the LA Clippers. https://t.co/OwbLEHFrCL

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

“It takes a culture shift, it takes action. Let’s stop the injustice now.” Pistons HC Dwane Casey releases a powerful statement on the death of George Floyd. https://t.co/q5wwCjSzIE


UConn Huskies women's basketball's Paige Bueckers:

Paige Bueckers @paigebueckers1

I am white. I will never be able to understand what it’s like to be a person of color. With that being said, it does not make me any less angry just because I, myself, am not going through it. Its sickening and there is a need for action instead of words. It’s TIME FOR CHANGE!


Cleveland Browns' Odell Beckham Jr., JC Tretter and Karl Joseph:

Odell Beckham Jr @obj

Worlds honestly sickening. It really is..... no explanation

Odell Beckham Jr @obj

Losing fathers mothers aunties uncles etc.... VIOLENCE isn’t not the answer ... cops killing us is not the answer, us killin cops is not the answer. VIOLENCE WILL ONLY BRING MORE VIOLENCE

Odell Beckham Jr @obj

I want better for us. Everyone

JC Tretter @JCTretter


"This isn’t a post to bash white people or cops because there are plenty of good white people in this world and plenty of good white cops that are great at their jobs to “protect&serve” But wrong is wrong!!! There’s no way to justify this situation I don’t care what this man did or didn’t do, he did not deserve this! And if you try to justify it in any way you’re part of the problem. There’s 4 cops ,he’s handcuffed and face down, there’s 3 cops with their knees and full body weight on this man and 1 just standing there doing absolutely nothing! At no point did any of them say that’s enough put him in the car. Had no Remorse. WRONG IS WRONG!

"How do you justify this? How would you feel if that was your brother, friend, husband, boyfriend etc.? Do you think this would’ve happened if it was a White man? How many more situations like this needs to happen for a change to take place? Does this not bother you? Please ask yourself these questions.

"Racism&Hate are taught, we aren’t born that way. We Have to make this country and world better for our kids and next generations. And that start Within , Stand up for what’s RIGHT!"


Dallas Cowboys' DeMarcus Lawrence, Houston Texans' J.J. Watt, Kansas City Chiefs' Chris Jones and Arizona Cardinals' Patrick Peterson:

DeMarcus Lawrence @TankLawrence


JJ Watt @JJWatt

I’m sorry you feel that way. I spoke on it 2 days ago and I’ll speak again now. I think it was disgusting and impossible for anyone to defend. The situation could have been remedied many other ways and those responsible should be held accountable. George Floyd should be alive. https://t.co/03bdTJk2QJ https://t.co/M4VyR9oIQE

Chris Jones @StoneColdJones

Prayers up!🙏🏾🙏🏾 https://t.co/2JzPyGyHHk

Patrick Peterson /P2 @P2

This was not easy for me. I had to take some time to make sure my anger from the tragic #GeorgeFloyd situation was under control before speaking out. I have a responsibility to share my thoughts as an influential black man in America. This is how I feel. WE NEED & DEMAND CHANGE!! https://t.co/KWJo6VOBd5


San Jose Sharks' Evander Kane and the NHL:

Evander Kane @evanderkane_9

This makes my blood f*****g boil! All four “officers” need to be jailed for life and it still wouldn’t be enough. The video is all anyone needs to see. #caseclosed https://t.co/o38USN8kOx


Statement from the National Hockey League: https://t.co/F0AagVAg4e


Atlanta Hawks' Trae Young and Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo:

Trae Young @TheTraeYoung

We. Won’t. Be. Silent. 💯 https://t.co/knvocvgJcI

Giannis Antetokounmpo @Giannis_An34

I really don’t know how to put into words exactly how I feel, but one thing I know for sure is that enough is enough! It’s time for change! #GeorgeFloyd #AhmaudArbery


Women's National Basketball Players Association:


For Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and far too many other women, men, children. https://t.co/OBA80TX1BW


Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores:

"I've had the privilege of being a part of many different circles that have included some very powerful and influential people of all different races and genders. The events of the last few weeks have brought some of the memories of those conversations back to light. I vividly remember the Colin Kaepernick conversations. 'Don't ever disrespect the flag' was the phrase that I heard over and over again. This idea that players were kneeling in support of social justice was something some people couldn't wrap their head around. The outrage that I saw in the media and the anger I felt in some of my own private conversations caused me to sever a few long-standing friendships.

"Most recently, I've had conversations about incentivizing teams for hiring minorities. Again, there was some outrage in the media and talks that this would cause division amongst coaches, executives and ownership. I bring these situations up because I haven't seen the same OUTRAGE from people of influence when the conversation turns to Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and most recently George Floyd. Many people who broadcast their opinions on kneeling or on the hiring of minorities don't seem to have an opinion on the recent murders of these young black men and women. I think many of them QUIETLY say that watching George Floyd plead for help is one of the more horrible things they have seen, but it's said amongst themselves where no one can hear. Broadcasting THAT opinion clearly is not important enough.

"I lead a group of young men who have the potential to make a real impact in this world. My message to them and anyone else who wants to listen is that honesty, transparency, and empathy go a long way in bringing people together and making change. I hope that the tragedies of the last few weeks will open our hearts and minds to a better way of communicating and hopefully create that change."


Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and head coach Dabo Swinney:

Trevor Lawrence @Trevorlawrencee

I’m siding with my brothers that deal, and continuously deal, with things I will never experience. The injustice is clear.. and so is the hate. It can no longer be explained away. If you’re still “explaining” it - check your heart and ask why.

Pete Thamel @PeteThamel

Dabo Swinney in his pressser on the Floyd killing: "We have all witnessed disgusting acts of evil. That’s the only word I can appropriately use."


New Orleans Saints' Cameron Jordan and Terron Armstead:

cameron jordan @camjordan94

For every recorded “incident” (murder) how many get swept under the table when not recorded? When people don’t have emotional and overwhelming outburst reactions to an American dying by what’s supposed to be a body of governing forces that’s sworn to PROTECT AND SERVE?

Terron Armstead @T_Armstead72

🗣ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER!! Team Armstead Community Center 💙 It’s time to actually start turning our words into reality! Too often, we get caught up in ranting and being so outspoken on social media or in the media in general, and we think that just doing that is enough!....... https://t.co/jyZbDIDzKj


Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari, Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and Michigan State men's basketball coach Tom Izzo:

"Like many of you, I've been watching what's been going on the last couple of days and have had some time to think about it and pray about it. All I can tell you is I'm sick. Whether you're talking George Floyd or a number of other incidents that have happened in our country and in our backyard, I'm sick because I cannot believe one human being could treat another human being the way we've seen with some of these injustices.

"I don't have all the answers. I wish I had some way to bring everyone together. But I do have one thought: It is wrong, it is unacceptable, and I am horrified by what I have seen. This cannot continue. I addressed it with our team this evening. I want to keep that conversation private, but what I will say is we need to have an open dialogue and conversation about these issues. The only way we can move forward as a nation is to be open and honest with ourselves."

Duke Men’s Basketball @DukeMBB


Michigan State Basketball @MSU_Basketball

A statement from Coach Izzo: https://t.co/DOOI60yK4Q


United States men's soccer star Weston McKennie, Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Gladbach's Marcus Thuram:


“Justice for George Floyd” El mensaje que lleva en el brazo Weston McKennie 🇺🇸 @Bundesliga_ES | #S04 | #S04SVW | #Bundesliga | #GeorgeFloyd | #McKennie https://t.co/9womI8tOXC

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Jadon Sancho reveals a “Justice for George Floyd” message on his undershirt after scoring for Dortmund (via @beINSPORTS_EN) https://t.co/2hG1QN6y7b


🙏 Mensajes del futbol #NoToRacism | #GEORGEFLOYDJUSTICE | #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd | #Bundesliga https://t.co/Yrvsv1TvSX


Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and owner Mark Davis:

Derek Carr @derekcarrqb


Las Vegas Raiders @Raiders



Washington Nationals' Sean Doolittle, New York Yankees' Giancarlo Stanton and Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper:

Obi-Sean Kenobi Doolittle @whatwouldDOOdo

#BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/qmHK3Rhf7e

Giancarlo Stanton @Giancarlo818

Enough is Enough. It’s going to take everyone to help this system change. No matter your color or attributes, We are all human, who know what’s right deep down. Making a real change will be Justice for Floyd & everyone who came before him. Let’s all be a part of the change🙏🏽 https://t.co/SERaY4K34X

John Clark @JClarkNBCS

Bryce Harper takes a knee And delivers a strong message 📸 @bryceharper3 https://t.co/CcyyaGfx3R


Tennis star Sloane Stephens:

sloanestephens @SloaneStephens

Praying for all of those like #GeorgeFloyd and their loved ones who have been impacted by police brutality and these senseless, violent crimes. This is heartbreaking and disgusting to continuously see. This cannot continue and we have ALL do our part here. https://t.co/BfSRyrn4wp


Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards:

Golden State Warriors @warriors

Statement from the Golden State Warriors https://t.co/Ath72t6mjT

Los Angeles Lakers @Lakers


Brooklyn Nets @BrooklynNets

Statement from the Brooklyn Nets, Long Island Nets, New York Liberty, and Barclays Center. https://t.co/HFlYU1HHvC

Washington Wizards @WashWizards

A united statement from our players. https://t.co/SGKSDw76zU


Los Angeles Dodgers:

Los Angeles Dodgers @Dodgers



Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank:

"A number of events over the last couple of weeks have reminded us again that the long, worthy quest for equal justice, civility and unity in America is far from over. People are scared and in pain. Their frustration is real, and it must be acknowledged and addressed. More must be done to address systemic racism. More must be done to address the underlying issues that have led to these incidents across the country. More must be done to bring people together through meaningful change.

"The public discourse on these and other issues is too divisive, too political. These are not political issues, they are human issues that need serious, earnest attention from leaders and citizens alike who understand that diversity is our strength and fair treatment is everyone's right. Open, honest dialogue is needed on a much greater scale. It is my hope that we take this terrible moment in our history to elevate that conversation toward productive action and lasting, positive change. Peaceful protests of the past have led to new ways forward. Lawlessness, vandalism and intentionally upending the peace with any form of violence has never been productive and is not the answer. We must not accept or condone violence in any way. And to be sure, Atlanta is better than what we saw in the actions of a few last night.

"Together we will rise above this on the strength of what has always made Atlanta greatits people, its leaders of past and present and its unique culture that is welcoming to all. Our Family Foundation and the rest of our businesses here in Atlanta and elsewhere remain committed to being part of the solution."


Penn State football coach James Franklin and Alabama football coach Nick Saban:

James Franklin @coachjfranklin

#WeAre https://t.co/u5EFJuOifc

Alabama Football @AlabamaFTBL



NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Statement from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: https://t.co/Tsrde84mh4


University of Kansas athletic department and Big 12 Conference:

Kansas Jayhawks @KUAthletics

A statement from Director of Athletics @jefflongKU and all our head coaches here at Kansas: https://t.co/GIyzjCrbrI

Jeremy Kolok @JeremyKolok

Statement from the @Big12Conference, signed by all 10 schools: “Recent incidents of racial violence underscore the need for us and for all Americans to join together in addressing matters of racism and injustice in a united, meaningful way.” https://t.co/91ImUTeajg


Former UFC and WWE champion Ronda Rousey:

Ronda Rousey @RondaRousey

We all have the same rights as the people with the least rights in this country. Anything more than that is a given privilege. I don’t want to be given privileges that can be taken away! I want rights, fuck privilege! #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd

Ronda Rousey @RondaRousey

#JusticeForGeorgeFloyd means more than just putting the men responsible for his murder in jail! Self regulation isn’t effective, internal affairs is a joke! We need to reform the systemic distinction within OUR police departments! https://t.co/uKGDVq99H2

Ronda Rousey @RondaRousey

The police cannot police themselves! We need civilian oversight of police now! https://t.co/mVGcWVj2fG


WNBA's Sabrina Ionescu:

Sabrina Ionescu @sabrina_i20

It’s time for change💪🏾🙌🏾 https://t.co/2HkzNY3mtw


Formula One's Lewis Hamilton:

"I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice," Hamilton wrote on Instagram, per Chris Medland of Racer (via USA Today). "Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white-dominated sport.

"I'm one of the only people of color there, yet I stand alone. I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you can't stand alongside us. Just know I know who you are and I see you..."


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