George Floyd died Monday while saying “I can’t breathe” as a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground and put his knee on his neck for an extended time. A video of Floyd’s death prompted a severe backlash, including the firing of four police officers, FBI and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigations, and public protests.
Floyd’s death also sparked frustration and outrage among NBA players and they took to social media to speak out, as they have had to do too often in the past with the deaths of black men at the hands of police. Many followed the lead of LeBron James in posting on Instagram an image of a policeman kneeling on Floyd’s neck juxtaposed with Colin Kaepernick kneeling on the sidelines of an NFL game during the national anthem.
No one around the NBA was hit harder than former player and current ESPN analyst Stephen Jackson, who knew Floyd and was devastated by the news. He called Floyd by his nickname, Twin.
Other NBA players took to Twitter and Instagram, here is just a sampling.
If I was in attendance I would have been arrested for sure https://t.co/odtTz8cKhg
— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) May 27, 2020
This is murder. Disgusting. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with US???? https://t.co/wesEwd4Bb2
— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerr) May 26, 2020
If you let your coworker do that to another human being without trying to stop him or talk to him out of it, you are as gulty as he is. Frustrating for the majority of good cops that take a lot of risk doing their job the right way everyday. https://t.co/HncJfZcVeD
— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) May 26, 2020
Black Man Pleads For His Life As White Cop Keeps His Knee on His Neck Minutes Before He Died in Minneapolis (Video) – https://t.co/htOV0nbWPL. Now I’ve heard it all: “A FORGERY in progress??!!”” Is that supposed to suggest armed and dangerous? #icantbreathe
— Michele Roberts (@MRobertsNBPA) May 26, 2020
It’s just makes me even more infuriated, there’s no excuse for this. Just PUNK ASS COPS doing PUNK ASS THINGS.. No matter what transpired before, he’s contained, no reason to squeeze the life out of him for the world to see. It’s MURDER.. https://t.co/HpLiJjEYyg
— Reggie Miller (@ReggieMillerTNT) May 26, 2020
I’m scared for myself and my BLACK kids with SOME of these crazy people and cops… I hope to God they don’t get into some stuff and the cops come and possibly KILL them
— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) May 26, 2020
— Myles Turner (@Original_Turner) May 26, 2020
Heartbroken at this, bystanders can't go tackle the officer off the man because we know how that would play out. Only one here to help is the other officer standing there letting it all happen. SHAME!!!! https://t.co/ljDSBdH1SB
— Tobias Harris (@tobias31) May 26, 2020
SICKENING!!! I HAVE NO WORDS MAN!!! https://t.co/vrFJAcRw55
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) May 27, 2020