Sport has raised its’collective voice to condemn the brutal murder of George Floyd. The imagery remains chilling. The wording desperate. The ending horrifying. “I can’t breathe!” The last words of George Floyd before he died after being arrested, and pinned down by four Minneapolis police officers with the knee of one of them, Derek Chauvin on his neck.
All four officers have since been dismissed and charged. Chauvin has now been charged with second degree murder. The whole world will have seen the tragic ending of 46-year-old Floyd, and have reacted with anger, dismay and desperation at the murder, and a system which has continually denied black people in America. Sport too has raised its voice of concern.
Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon along with Boston Celtics’ Jayden Brown marched together in a peaceful racially diverse protest in Atlanta.
Malcolm Brogdon (l) -People have to understand the desperate-ness that our community is in
“ I got a grandfather who marched next to Dr. King in the 60’s. He was amazing and he would be proud to see us all here,” said Brogdon, the 2017 NBA rookie of the year.
Brogdon sent out a hard-hitting message later on US television.
“People have to understand the desperateness that our community is in, how hopeless we feel, and to see another black man murdered in the street for no reason over a fraudulent $20 bill. It’s inexcusable. It happens so much.
“My fear is that we as a people will become numb to it. It’s important for us to stay outraged, it’s important for us to continue to be angry, continue to protest, continue to shed light and highlight what’s going on in this country and the system we’re living in.”
Former world champion boxer Floyd Mayweather has offered to pay for George Floyd’s funeral and memorial in Houston, which has reportedly been accepted by the family. Pacers Head Coach Nate McMillan also expressed his pain and sorrow.
“The recent killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, is nothing shy of inexcusable and my whole heart feels for his family in their difficult time of grief. Unfortunately, this pain is far too common for the black community in America, the place we claim to be so great.
Jadon Sancho shows a “Justice for George Floyd” shirt as he celebrates after scoring last weekend
“Enough is enough.
“What is so great about oppression, pain, and suffering? What is so great about hatred, violence, and racism? For as long as I can remember, the black community has had to piece itself back together time and time again through the agony of injustice.
“There is no place for racism. Violence is not the answer. It’s time for everyone to take a look in the mirror and take action to remove the divisive stigma that lingers over the nation.”
Brogdon and McMillan join global sports figures in speaking out against racism, police violence and inequality in the wake of George Floyd’s death, including basketball greats, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, Jadon Sancho among others, including former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry.
“I have been collecting my thoughts for the past few days in order to describe my feelings on the tragic death of George Floyd. It would have been far too easy to write with emotion, hatred and vitriolic sentiment in the aftermath. Although those feelings are still present, I will give it a try,” began Henry.
Thierry Henry – Why are all the methods we are using to eradicate this from our society not working?
“Why is this still happening in 2020? Why do the same racists applaud any ethnic minority who plays for the team they support but abuse the same minorities on the street? Why are all the methods we are using to eradicate this from our society not working?
“I do not advocate violence, looting or destruction or property, as this will not solve any problems and many racially afflicted individuals are victims themselves of this behavior.
“It’s gone on for too long and we have come too far for this to be tolerated in modern society.
“We urgently NEED change, we DEMAND change and most importantly, we DESERVE change. Make it happen, NOW.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH,” continued Henry on Twitter.
Hearing that message, Ben and Jerrys put out a strongly worded statement which didn’t hold back and they said where the problem truly lies.
“We Must Dismantle White Supremacy – Silence is NOT an Option,” the global ice cream company said on Twitter, and went even further to identify where the problems stemmed from.
“The murder of George Floyd was the result of inhumane police brutality that is perpetuated by a culture of white supremacy. What happened to George Floyd was not the result of a bad apple; it was the predictable consequence of a racist and prejudiced system and culture that has treated Black bodies as the enemy from the beginning.
“We Must Dismantle White Supremacy.” – Ben & Jerrys
“What happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis is the fruit borne of toxic seeds planted on the shores of our country in Jamestown in 1619, when the first enslaved men and women arrived on this continent. Floyd is the latest in a long list of names that stretches back to that time and that shore. Some of those names we know — Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Emmett Till, Martin Luther King, Jr. — most we don’t.”
The death of George Floyd is a seminal moment in the history of US race relations and race relations across the globe. All right minded individuals will condemn the brutality with which George Floyd died. How we learn and progress from this tragic situation will need a reset. Enough is enough.