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Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Ohio State football team join athletes to speak out after George Floyd’s death

Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Ohio State football team join athletes to speak out after George Floyd's death

In the days after Floyd's death, protests have occurred in Minneapolis and throughout the country

The entire nation is reeling after the death of George Floyd, an African-American man in Minneapolis killed after a police officer was caught on video kneeling on his neck for over seven minutes. Floyd's death has sparked protests against police brutality, specifically against the African-American community, across the country.

Those protests have featured a number of prominent members of the increasingly socially conscious sports community. Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown even drove 15 hours from Boston to Atlanta to participate in protests there. Even those who did not participate in the protests directly have used their platforms to voice their opinions. Michael Jordan was the latest major figure to do so on Sunday.

Statement from Michael Jordan:

— Jordan (@Jumpman23) May 31, 2020

He was far from the only prominent athlete to speak out. Below is just a sampling of the sports world's reaction to what is happening around the country.

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Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you?? 🤦🏾‍♂️ #StayWoke👁

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

#BlackLivesMatter #FightForChange

— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) June 2, 2020

— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) June 1, 2020


— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) June 1, 2020

Dabo: "First and foremost I know that we are all hurting for the Floyd family and our country. I can speak for our entire staff and our team in that regard for sure. We have all witnessed just disgusting acts of evil. That’s really the only word I can appropriately use."

— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) June 1, 2020

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. It can no longer be explained away. If you’re still “explaining” it – check your heart and ask why.

— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) May 29, 2020

Worlds honestly sickening. It really is….. no explanation

— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) May 27, 2020

— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) May 27, 2020


— DeMarcus Lawrence (@TankLawrence) May 26, 2020

— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) May 31, 2020

(Some language NSFW)

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A lot of people may claim these riots and acts of destruction are a terrible response. I’ll be the first to admit that as a white male that was also my first reaction. But who am I to tell someone that their pain is not real? Especially when it is at a boiling point and impossible to hold in anymore. It’s obviously coming from a place of truth. This reaction isn’t coming out of thin air. I’m not condoning or approving the looting, but are we really going to sit here and say that peaceful protesting is the only answer? There has been plenty of time for that, and if it was the answer we would’ve given it our full attention long ago. Listen to these two men debate. They are lost, they are in pain. They strived for a better future but as they get older they realize their efforts may be futile. They don’t know the answer of how to solve this problem for the next generation of black women and men. This breaks my heart. I can’t pretend for a second that I know what it feels like to walk in a black man’s shoes. However, seeing the video of George Floyd’s death and the violent reaction across the country moved me to tears. It has pushed me to think, how much pain are black people and other minorities really feeling? What have Native American people dealt with in both Canada and US? What is it really like to grow up in their world? Where am I ignorant about the privileges that I may have that others don’t? Compassion to me is at least trying to FEEL and UNDERSTAND what someone else is going through. For just a moment maybe I can try to see the world through their eyes. Covid has been rough but it has given us the opportunity to be much less preoccupied with our busy lives. We can no longer distract ourselves from the truth of what is going on. My message isn’t for black people and what they should do going forward. My message is to white people to open our eyes and our hearts. That’s the only choice we have, otherwise this will continue. Let’s choose to fight hate and fear with love and awareness. Ask not what can you do for me, but what can I do for you? Be the one to make the first move. In the end, love conquers all. #blacklivesmatter

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If anybody that follows me is not outraged about these senseless attacks on BLACK MEN, please stop following me! If your spirit is not disturbed, please stop following me! This inflicted Pain but it will never inflict FEAR… sorry, were not made like that! #BlackMenMatter

— Lisa Leslie (@LisaLeslie) May 27, 2020

Pistons coach Dwane Casey releases a powerful message.

— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) May 30, 2020

Clippers coach @DocRivers:

— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) May 31, 2020

Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri penned a piece that was published in the Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail,in response to the protests. Ujiri acknowledged the 2019 incident when a police officer stopped him from joining the Raptors on the court following their NBA championship victory.

"If it was another team president heading for the court — a white team president — would he have been stopped by that officer? I've wondered that," Ujiri wrote. "I recognize what happened in Oakland last June is very different from what happened in Minneapolis last Monday. My own experience only cost me a moment; Mr. Floyd's experience cost him his life."

In the NFL, San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York announced that he is donating $1 million to "local and national organizations who are creating change" amid the protests.

— Jed York (@JedYork) May 31, 2020

Floyd was a friend of former NBA player Stephen Jackson.

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Twin couldn’t wait to tell me he moved to Minnesota to work and drive trucks. He knew he had to relocate to be his best self. His ❤️ was in the right place. Rest Easy Bro we gonna hold it down yo voice. All we talked about was growing and kids. Love to all who have love for all ✊🏿✊🏼✊🏽✊🏻✊🏾✊

A post shared by Stephen Jackson Sr. (@_stak5_) on

(Some language NSFW)

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Twin. I promise I won’t let this BS ride. Already talked to @shaunking. Anybody from Houston/ Cuney Homes u know this was my brother. Can’t let this ride. All hands on deck. Rest Easy Twin. #3rd #MinnesotaRacistAssCops

A post shared by Stephen Jackson Sr. (@_stak5_) on

“Why NFL Players Kneel: Reason 1 Million”

— Donté Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) May 26, 2020

Dear white brothers and sisters, we desperately need y’all’s help. #GeorgeFloyd

— Emmanuel Acho (@thEMANacho) May 27, 2020

This was the perfect example. The guy was just standing there. What is their standard? What happened to holding your peers accountable to the pledge they took to “protect and serve”?

— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) May 26, 2020

Why does it matter? You think that was the only way this “trained” officer could handle the man? It doesn’t matter if he stole a pack of gum or shot someone. The actions from those officers were trash 😑

— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) May 26, 2020


— Carson Wentz (@cj_wentz) May 28, 2020


— DWade (@DwyaneWade) May 27, 2020

George Floyd was clearly murdered by a Minneapolis police officer. 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.

— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 27, 2020

Last night, my son was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet while peacefully protesting for justice for George Floyd. His story is not unique. Countless others have also experienced this use of excessive police force while trying to have their voices heard.

— Dale Murphy (@DaleMurphy3) June 1, 2020

For Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and far too many other women, men, children.

— WNBPA (@TheWNBPA) May 29, 2020

Statement from Head Coach Brian Flores.

— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) May 29, 2020

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” Martin Luther King Jr.

— Chris Holtmann (@ChrisHoltmann) May 29, 2020

Silence at a time like this is unacceptable, and complicit, especially from those who are privileged. Racism cannot be ignored. We can be better. We MUST be better.
We ALL have a responsibility if we’re going to fight systems of oppression.
Listen, love, respect, act. 💜

— Pat Fitzgerald (@coachfitz51) May 29, 2020


— Gary Patterson (@TCUCoachP) June 1, 2020

— Coach Tom Herman (@CoachTomHerman) May 30, 2020

Thank you for everything ❤️

— Michael Locksley (@CoachLocks) October 18, 2019

I learned a lot from listening to our Leadership Council today.

— Mario Cristobal (@coach_cristobal) May 29, 2020


— Minnesota Timberwolves (@Timberwolves) May 29, 2020


— Coco Gauff (@CocoGauff) May 29, 2020

Simply put , America needs the majority to not just support the movement to improve race relations and how Black people are treated in this country but to speak up about it and implement measures to change itl

— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) May 30, 2020

Jaylen Brown said on his live Instagram video that he drove 15 hours from Boston to take part in the peaceful march he’s in right now in Atlanta. Here is what he said on that livestream about why he chose to do so:

— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) May 30, 2020

Statement From The Toronto Raptors:

— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 31, 2020

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A post shared by Ty Dillon (@ty_dillon) on

The UFC's Jon Jones spoke to TMZ about Floyd's death saying, "Anyone who has practiced the very basics of jujitsu recognizes a [blood choke] when they see this. That was as clear as day murder, torture."

"What that man went through was worse than drowning," Jones added. "I wouldn't wish the way George Floyd was murdered on my worst enemy. That officer applied just enough pressure to keep him alive for almost six minutes in that chokehold. In all my years of fighting I can honestly say I've never experienced anything close to that level of torture."

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