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WNBA Hopes Derek Chauvin Verdict for George Floyd Murder Is 'True Turning Point'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistApril 20, 2021

In this image from video, defendant, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, listens to verdicts at his trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. (Court TV via AP, Pool)
Uncredited/Associated Press

The WNBA and WNBPA released statements Tuesday after former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted for the murder of George Floyd. 

WNBA @WNBA

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

“This past year, we have witnessed traumatizing instances of police brutality that Black Americans disproportionately experience, with the murder of George Floyd at the forefront of the conversation," the WNBA statement read.

"While this verdict represents a step toward justice, we are reminded that justice is too often not the outcome for people of color. The WNBA/WNBPA Social Justice Council will continue its work to combat injustice and inequality in our country and hope this represents a true turning point for how the effects of systemic racism begin to be addressed.  We stand with all those who have felt the deep impact of George Floyd’s death.”

The WNBPA statement addressed Floyd's daughter, Gianna, who famously said her father "changed the world":

WNBPA @TheWNBPA

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

A Minneapolis jury convicted Chauvin of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter Tuesday after he knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes and thirty seconds last May, killing Floyd.

Video of Floyd's murder—in which he can be heard pleading for his life as Chauvin knelt on him—spread widely and led to nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality. 

The WNBA has been at the forefront of social justice causes, with the league dedicating its 2020 season to social justice reform. Furthermore, many WNBA players used their platforms to call for the end of violence against Black people by police following the deaths of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others.