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:


Philadelphia 76ers guard Danny Green:


Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns:


Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James:


Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis:

WTA player Naomi Osaka:


Minnesota Lynx/Minnesota Timberwolves:


Minnesota Vikings:


Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant:


Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell:


Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert:


Former Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade:


Chicago Sky forward Candace Parker:


Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes:


Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson:






Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr.


Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson:


Basketball Hall of Famer Reggie Miller:


Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud:


Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson:


Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson:


Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs:


St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty:


NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace:


Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love:


Phoenix Mercury guard Kia Nurse:


NBA/National Basketball Players Association:


NBPA executive director Michele Roberts:


WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert:


Women's National Basketball Players Association:


Pittsburgh Penguins:


MLBPA executive director Tony Clark:


Minnesota Lynx forward Aerial Powers:


Washington Mystics forward Alysha Clark:


San Antonio Spurs:


Los Angeles Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue:


New Orleans Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy:


Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash:

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.