Sports World Reacts to Derek Chauvin Guilty Verdict in Murder of George Floyd

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2021

In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin listens as his defense attorney Eric Nelson gives closing arguments as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill preside Monday, April 19, 2021, in the trial of Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)
Uncredited/Associated Press

Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd.

A number of athletes reacted to the outcome on social media:


San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich:

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds

Gregg Popovich, on the George Floyd case verdicts yesterday: "I think it's a time to understand that was a victory in a war that's got to continue to be waged in the sense of demanding equality and justice and rights -- because it hasn't happened yet."


Philadelphia 76ers guard Danny Green:

Lauren Rosen @LaurenMRosen

Danny Green (@DGreen_14) says the @sixers discussed the Chauvin verdict today: "We discussed it today as a group. It's a big win, it's huge. Instead of being excited about it, I feel like more people feel like it's about damn time. It's a good start.. It's a good change."


Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns:

Karl-Anthony Towns @KarlTowns

Justice and Accountability! Things I never thought I would see. There’s much more work to do, but this is an amazing start working toward the reform this country NEEDS!


Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James:

LeBron James @KingJames



Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis:

Dan Woike @DanWoikeSports

"I think a lot of people in the world are happy with the verdict, just being able to give that family a peace of mind. It was the first step for justice," Davis said. Said "We've seen so many times where it doesn't happen."

WTA player Naomi Osaka:

NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ @naomiosaka

I was going to make a celebratory tweet but then I was hit with sadness because we are celebrating something that is clear as day. The fact that so many injustices occurred to make us hold our breath toward this outcome is really telling.


Minnesota Lynx/Minnesota Timberwolves:

Minnesota Lynx @minnesotalynx



Minnesota Vikings:

Minnesota Vikings @Vikings



Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant:

Ja Morant @JaMorant



Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell:

Donovan Mitchell @spidadmitchell

God is good all the time.....✊🏾🙏🏾


Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert:

Rudy Gobert @rudygobert27

Let’s hope that one day justice for all will feel normal and not like a celebration 🙏🏽


Former Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade:


“Today showed to me the power of community... The work is not done." @DwyaneWade reacts to the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. https://t.co/VQjWqTzUgh


Chicago Sky forward Candace Parker:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

“I think democracy we think of as a destination, and it’s a continuous journey. ... We have to actively participate in that.” @Candace_Parker and the @NBAonTNT crew reflect on the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd https://t.co/N3MuWqYqv1


Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes:

Patrick Mahomes II @PatrickMahomes



Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson:

Russell Wilson @DangeRussWilson

Love Wins.










Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr.

JJJ @jarenjacksonjr

Rest easy 🙏🏾


Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson:

Earvin Magic Johnson @MagicJohnson

Thank God...guilty! Justice has been served!!


Basketball Hall of Famer Reggie Miller:

Reggie Miller @ReggieMillerTNT



Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud:

Natasha Cloud @T_Cloud4

This is justice.


Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson:

A'ja Wilson @_ajawilson22

Outta thereeee!!!!!!


Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson:

S E V E N @TimAnderson7



Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs:

DIGGS @stefondiggs



St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty:

Jack Flaherty @Jack9Flaherty



NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace:

Bubba Wallace @BubbaWallace

Justice served on all counts. Good. Still a ton of work to do. Continue to rest peacefully #GeorgeFloyd ✊🏾🙏🏾


Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love:

Kevin Love @kevinlove

Justice. ✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿


Phoenix Mercury guard Kia Nurse:

Kia Nurse @KayNurse11

we continue to fight but this is a start, a step in the right direction...accountability!!!


NBA/National Basketball Players Association:

Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpears

NBA and NBPA joint statement https://t.co/rUj9AlE9PH


NBPA executive director Michele Roberts:

Michele Roberts @MRobertsNBPA

Next Up? Passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in the Senate!!!#GeorgeFloydVerdict


WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert:


The following was released by the WNBA. https://t.co/KWF4mkr6mf


Women's National Basketball Players Association:


Yes, Gianna Floyd, your Dad has changed the world. #BlackLivesMatter https://t.co/cbLC1gtVjB


Pittsburgh Penguins:

Pittsburgh Penguins @penguins



MLBPA executive director Tony Clark:


MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark issued the following statement https://t.co/3xmGIM1qem


Minnesota Lynx forward Aerial Powers:

LIQUID | Powerzsurge @aerial_powers23



Washington Mystics forward Alysha Clark:

Alysha Clark @Alysha_Clark

🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 #BlackLivesMatter #JusticeHasBeenServed #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd


San Antonio Spurs:

San Antonio Spurs @spurs

9 minutes, 29 seconds. https://t.co/cCpzd3zeBq


Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue:

LA Clippers @LAClippers

Accountability. https://t.co/SRb1OO22NN


New Orleans Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy:

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy on Derek Chauvin being found guilty on all three charges for George Floyd's killing: "Justice was done. But it’s hard to celebrate. It’s hard to celebrate because it doesn’t bring back George Floyd. We had somebody needlessly killed."


Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash:

Nets Videos @SNYNets

Steve Nash reacts to the verdict in the George Floyd trial: "I just hope that this is the type of statement by our justice system that gives hope and precedence for these types of verdicts to be the norm" https://t.co/0rUswaVWRo

Chauvin was one of four officers from the Minneapolis Police Department who approached George Floyd in his vehicle on May 25, 2020. The officers were responding to an alleged forgery in progress.

Police handcuffed Floyd, and a video of his arrest showed Chauvin kneeling on his neck as Floyd indicated he was struggling to breathe. Prosecutors said Chauvin did this for nine minutes and 29 seconds. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital roughly an hour after he was transported from the scene.

In March, Floyd's family agreed to a $27 million settlement with the city of Minneapolis in a civil suit. City Council President Lisa Bender said of the outcome that "no amount of money" would bring Floyd back to his family.

The killings of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery sparked nationwide protests across the summer of 2020. A number of athletes across sports, including NBA, WNBA and NFL players and college athletes, attended or organized protests and spoke out against racial injustice and police violence. Players from the WNBA also wore Taylor's name on the back of their jerseys while using the 2020 season to draw attention to social justice causes. 

The shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August also prompted the Milwaukee Bucks to refuse to take the court for an NBA playoff game against the Orlando Magic. Teams across multiple leagues followed suit, bringing the sports world to a temporary halt.

As a result of the stoppage, the NBA and NBPA agreed to implement multiple social justice initiatives, including establishing a social justice coalition, opening NBA arenas up as voting centers in the 2020 general election and working to promote voter access and civic engagement.


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