George Floyd, a black man who died after being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer for about eight minutes, has become a symbol.
For Stephen Jackson – who had a 14-year NBA career mostly with the Spurs, Pacers, Warriors and Hornets – Floyd’s death was deeply personal.
Jackson, who called Floyd “Twin,” met Floyd while growing up in Texas. Jackson was from Port Arthur, Floyd nearby Houston.
Jackson on Today:
Once we saw each other, the first question we asked: “Who your daddy?” “Who your daddy?” And it went from there.
We always hung together. Every time I went to Houston, it was my first stop, to stop and pick him up.
What’s killing me the most about this whole thing is, being a professional athlete, so many people abuse your friendship and your kindness. And he was one of those guys that genuinely supported me. He didn’t call unless he really needed it. And you don’t have many people that genuinely support you without any motives. And Floyd was that guy.
My girlfriend’s mom is from Minnesota, and we talk about these types of things all the time. And she sends me videos all the time. So, I was actually asleep on the couch with my daughter. And she sent me the video. And I looked at the video, and I was thinking it was just another video that she was sending me – another black man getting murdered by the police. And I didn’t really pay attention to it. As I clicked out of the message, I had 50 messages, and I clicked on one of them from my friend Mike D. And he said, “You see what they did to your twin in Minnesota?” And I jumped up, screamed, scared my daughter. Almost broke my hand punching stuff, because I was so mad. Because I’m the type of guy – I get mad, and I get into a full face of tears when I see a homeless man on the street that I can’t help. So, let alone, my best friend on TV for the world to see getting killed over a fraud charge off a fake 20-dollar bill, it just destroyed me. I haven’t been the same since I’ve seen it.
Floyd’s death is a tragedy for the entire country.
I can barely imagine what it’s like for Jackson – and everyone close to Floyd – grieve under these circumstances.