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Jimmy Butler: Breonna Taylor 'Can Be Me, and That Can Be Any African American'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorSeptember 24, 2020

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) leaps to the basket for a shot over Boston Celtics' Robert Williams III, bottom left, and Gordon Hayward, bottom center, during the first half of Game 4 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference final, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler expressed his sadness and anger Wednesday evening in response to news that the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, in her own apartment while executing a no-knock search warrant will not be charged for her death.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

"I just think it's some bullcrap." Jimmy Butler reacted to no officers being indicted for killing Breonna Taylor https://t.co/5TgKYrTSUM

Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated provided quotes:

Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpears

“Very, very sad. I hate to see it. Everyone hates to see it,” #Heat star @JimmyButler on Breonna Taylor news that he also described as “BS.” Butler says “it’s always much bigger than the sport because that can be me and that can be any African-American.”

According to Ray Sanchez, Elizabeth Joseph and Steve Almasy of CNN.com, Brett Hankison, who has since been fired from the LMPD, will be charged with wanton endangerment for firing into neighboring apartments. The other two officers will not be charged.

The no-knock search warrant was in response to a drug investigation related to Jamarcus Glover, an ex-boyfriend of Taylor's who was suspected of being a drug trafficker, per CNN.com. However, no drugs were found in her apartment.

Kenneth Walker, Taylor's boyfriend, was with her at the time. He said that he fired one shot at officers believing them to be intruders. The officers say they identified themselves; Walker says they did not.

Like many professional basketball players, Butler has been an outspoken advocate for social justice. He didn't want a nameplate on the back of his jersey during the NBA's Disney World restart, and he explained why in a press conference with reporters:

Miami HEAT @MiamiHEAT

The lack of words @JimmyButler hopes you'll see on the back of his jersey is a statement within itself. #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/LlIYfSFl92

"If I wasn't who I was today, I'm no different than anybody else of color," Butler said. "And I want that to be my message, in the sense that just because I'm an NBA player, everybody has the same right no matter what."

Butler expressed similar sentiments Wednesday after his team's 112-109 win over the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Heat took a 3-1 series lead with the victory, which Heat center Bam Adebayo dedicated to Taylor.

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