The Las Vegas Raiders are taking heat for a social media post reacting to the Derek Chauvin verdict on Tuesday. Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd last summer, and the Raiders' social media account tweeted "I CAN BREATHE" with the date and team logo. This led to a number of social media users lashing out at the Raiders.
"Communications department approved this. PR department approved this. Digital team approved this. Legal, too, probably. Unreal," one person wrote. Other users posted memes to disapprove the tweet, and LeBron James weighed in and wrote, "This is real?" There were some social media users who understood what the Raiders meant with the tweet, and team owner Mark Davis explained the post to ESPN.
Davis told ESPN he "meant no disrespect" to Floyd's family and he "took the lead" from Floyd's brother, Philonise, who said "Today, we are able to breathe again" following the verdict. Davis also said. "I felt that was a powerful statement. "Today was a day where I can breathe, and we can all breathe again because justice was served. But we have a lot of work to do still on social justice and police brutality."
This is real???? Nah man this ain’t it at all. The F^%K!!!! 🤦🏾♂️ https://t.co/f44D7OQWfo— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
The Raiders were one of the many teams and sports leagues to react to the verdict. The NFL released a statement that said: "Today's outcome in the Derek Chauvin trail in Minneapolis does not undo the loss of life. Mr. George Floyd should be here with us today. Our hearts remain with the Floyd family, and we understand the pain anger and frustration does not go away even when justice is delivered."
The statement continues: "Importantly, even as we identify reasons for hope, we must continue to help move our society toward a more equal and just tomorrow. We are proud to partner with NFL players and clubs and remain committed to do the important work needed to make positive change in our society." A jury made up of 12 people — six white people, four Black people and two multiracial people — found Chauvin guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He is facing up to 40 years in prison.