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:

             

NFL free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick:

        

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

            

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

           

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

              

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

   

PGA Tour star Tiger Woods:

   

Philadelphia Eagles' Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz:

             

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:

          

UConn Huskies women's basketball's Paige Bueckers:

               

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

"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:

              

San Jose Sharks' Evander Kane and the NHL:

               

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

                 

Women's National Basketball Players Association:

    

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:

            

New Orleans Saints' Cameron Jordan and Terron Armstead:

            

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."

            

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

            

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and owner Mark Davis:

            

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

            

Tennis star Sloane Stephens:

            

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

            

Los Angeles 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:

            

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:

       

University of Kansas athletic department and Big 12 Conference:

        

Former UFC and WWE champion Ronda Rousey:

         

WNBA's Sabrina Ionescu:

   

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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