George Floyd’s death after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes, as shown in a video that was posted online, has reignited the conversation around racism, police brutality and unequal treatment by law enforcement in the United States.
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday, and is facing third-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Floyd, who was 46 years old. All four officers involved in Monday’s incident were fired Tuesday.
Many figures in the sports world also have weighed in on the situation in Minnesota and the discussion that continues around racial inequality. Here’s what current and former athletes, coaches and others involved with sports have posted to social media:
The Miami Dolphins released a statement by their head coach, who wrote in part, “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.”
The tennis player posted a video to Twitter, wondering “Am I Next?”
Burrow, the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, national champion at LSU and the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner, posted to Twitter, “The black community needs our help. They have been unheard for far too long. Open your ears, listen, and speak. This isn’t politics. This is human rights.”
The Minnesota Golden Gophers head football coach released a statement on Twitter, saying in part, “(George Floyd’s) death was indefensible, and I stand with the community in asking for accountability and justice.”
The University of Wisconsin released a statement by its athletics director, who wrote in part, “I want to acknowledge the pain that the African-American students, coaches and staff in our department and community are feeling about this incident. It’s hard to put into words and impossible to relate to. But make no mistake, it is a priority for our athletic department to make sure that voices are heard and support is provided.”
The Kentucky Wildcats basketball coach wrote in part on Twitter, “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.”
The former NFL quarterback expressed support for the protesters in Minneapolis.
Kaepernick also pledged to provide legal assistance for Minneapolis protesters.
The New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl defensive end pondered on Twitter, “For every recorded “incident” (murder) how many get swept under the table when not recorded?”
The NBA star posted an image to his Instagram account of George Floyd alongside Colin Kaepernick kneeling with the message, “Do you understand NOW!!??!!??”
The Basketball Hall of Famer posted to Twitter, “How many times do we have to see black men killed on national television? This has been going on for entirely too long. We need to start seeing black people as human beings and not animals on the street.”
The Minnesota United players responded to George Floyd’s death and the subsequent protests.
The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback posted a message on Twitter, saying, “All I know is that the institutional racism in this country breaks my heart and needs to stop.”
Wentz’s Eagles teammate posted a message to Twitter on behalf of himself and his wife, U.S. national soccer team player Julie Ertz, “Julie and I are standing with you all during this time, solely out of love. I will not believe that the America of the past is going to be the America of the future.”
The Clemson quarterback posted to Twitter, “I’m siding with my brothers that deal, and continuously deal, with things I will never experience. The injustice is clear.. and so is the hate.”
The Minnesota Timberwolves coach wrote on Instagram that his “heart shatters” for what transpired in Minneapolis.
The Golden State Warriors coach wrote on Twitter, “This is murder. Disgusting. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with US????”
The Cleveland Browns receiver posted to Twitter, “Worlds honestly sickening. It really is….. no explanation.”
The Browns safety wrote a message on Instagram, “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.”
The San Jose Sharks player wrote on Twitter, “This makes my blood (expletive) boil! All four “officers” need to be jailed for life and it still wouldn’t be enough. The video is all anyone needs to see.”
The former NFL player and college football coach posted to Twitter, “My generation had a chance to change much of this illogical hatred, and we whiffed, ignoring chances to change old racist attitudes.”