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After a year of wondering if justice would prevail, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, a guilty verdict on all counts has been handed down to former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Mark Davis, the owner of the Las Vegas Raiders, is receiving backlash for a tweet he made in response to the verdict.
Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, came to Davis’s defense by issuing a statement concerning his “I Can Breath” tweet. Floyd stated:
On behalf of our family, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the Las Vegas Raiders organization and its leadership for their support of our family and for our nation’s ongoing pursuit of justice and equality for all. Now, more than ever, we must come together as one and continue on in this fight. For the first time in almost a year, our family has taken a breath. And I know that goes for so many across the nation and globe, as well. Let’s take this breath together in honor of my big brother who couldn’t. Let’s do it for George.
The phrase “I can breath” was used in 2014 after the death of Eric Garner by individuals that were in support of the New York police. Davis was not aware of the history of this phrase and stated that he would not have used it if he would have known.
In a phone interview Tuesday night, Davis expressed how bad he felt because his tweet was not meant to be taken that way. He feels that an explanation should have accompanied the statement.
When the verdict came in, Davis shared that he was driving and heard Floyd’s brother comment:
we can all breath again.
He decided that he would use that as the team’s response to the verdict.
Tensions were high in anticipation of Tuesday’s verdict, and Davis thought that the statement said a lot. Even though there is much work still to be done concerning social justice, Davis feels justice was served.
Written by Omari Jahi
Star Tribune: George Floyd’s family defends Las Vegas Raiders after backlash over tweet; by JOSH DUBOW
ESPN: Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis ‘meant no disrespect’ with widely criticized tweet; by Paul Gutierrez
Yahoo! Sports: Raiders owner Mark Davis takes responsibility for ‘I can breathe’ tweet posted after Derek Chauvin conviction; by Jason Owens
Fox Sports: LeBron James calls out Raiders’ ‘I can breathe’ tweet after Derek Chauvin found guilty in George Floyd’s death; by Daniel Canova
Feature and Top Image Courtesy of Video