The Las Vegas Raiders received significant backlash over their controversial Twitter post regarding the verdict on Derek Chauvin’s trial for the murder of George Floyd. Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was one of the many athletes who publicly voiced their disappointment with the poster that went viral on social media.
This is real???? Nah man this ain’t it at all. The F^%K!!!! 🤦🏾♂️ https://t.co/f44D7OQWfo
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
Back on March 25, 2020, Floyd was arrested by Chauvin for suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill in the Minnesota area. The police officer from the Minneapolis Police Department then knelt on the 46-year-old’s neck for over nine minutes, and Floyd ultimately died.
Floyd’s death sparked an uproar in America. Over a year later, Chauvin was convicted of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter due to the incident.
After the verdict was made public, professional sports teams released their official statements regarding the matter. However, many people found the Raiders’ poster to be insensitive as Floyd was heard saying “I can’t breathe” when Chauvin knelt on him.
Coincidentally, it was also the same rallying cry that was used in the wake of another victim in Eric Garner, who was choked to death when he was arrested in New York City back in 2014.
Said poster then drew clamor from the public, which led Raiders owner Mark Davis to take responsibility for the words written on it.
According to CBS News, he claimed that the idea was only inspired by Floyd’s brother, Philonise, who said “we are able to breathe again because justice for George means freedom for all” after learning the verdict on Chauvin’s trial.
However, Davis still refused to delete the post and claimed that he would only apologize if Floyd’s family was offended by those words, per an interview with Las Vegas-Review Journal.
“It’s rare I make statements about anything,” Davis told the newspaper, “and if I thought it offended the family, I would feel very badly and apologize. Other than that, I’m not apologizing. I honesty believe, after listening to Philonise, this is a day that we can all breathe.”
Even if Davis and the Raiders didn’t mean anything bad by it, it still isn’t a good look, and LeBron James joined the chorus of people ripping them for it.