(WCCO) — Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and several other athletes have taken to social media to express their outrage over the death of George Floyd while in police custody.
Floyd, 46, died Monday night after being pinned to the ground while handcuffed with an officer’s knee on his neck. Video of the incident showed Floyd pleading that he could not breathe while the officer remained kneeling on his neck.
James posted to his Instagram Tuesday invoking Colin Kaepernick’s protest of police brutality and racial injustice saying “This….Is Why.”
Kaepernick shared a version of the same photo on his Instagram story Tuesday night that was tweeted by former NFL receiver Nathan Palmer.
Magic Johnson spoke out as well, saying “George Floyd was clearly murdered by a Minneapolis police officer. How many times do we have to see black men killed on national television? This has been going on for entirely too long. We need to start seeing black people as human beings and not animals on the street.”
These men are our fathers, sons, brothers, uncles, human beings treated inhumanely by those who are supposed to protect and serve. Where are we supposed to put the range of emotions we experience seeing black men die on video?
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 27, 2020
Former NBA player and current ESPN analyst/All the Smoke podcast host Stephen Jackson shared several social media posts relating to Floyd’s death. Jackson was friends with Floyd referring to him by the nickname “Twin”.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. registered his disgust in a tweet.
Worlds honestly sickening. It really is….. no explanation
— Odell Beckham Jr (@obj) May 27, 2020
And Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence said he is “done being quiet” asking “how can we feel safe when those meant to protect us are killin’ us.”
DONE BEING QUIET AND DONE BEING ANGRY. HOW CAN WE FEEL SAFE WHEN THOSE MEANT TO PROTECT US ARE KILLIN’ US?!!!! WHEN WILL MINORITIES BE FREE TO BE AMERICANS IN AMERICA!?
— DeMarcus Lawrence (@TankLawrence) May 26, 2020
Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown and Basketball Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie also added their voices to the response on Twitter.
If I was in attendance I would have been arrested for sure https://t.co/odtTz8cKhg
— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) May 27, 2020
If anybody that follows me is not outraged about these senseless attacks on BLACK MEN, please stop following me! If your spirit is not disturbed, please stop following me! This inflicted Pain but it will never inflict FEAR… sorry, were not made like that! #BlackMenMatter pic.twitter.com/A9tSSzOSh6
— Lisa Leslie (@LisaLeslie) May 27, 2020
Four officers that were involved in the incident were fired Tuesday night. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called the incident “wrong on every level” and stated it “does not reflect the values that Chief Arradondo has worked tirelessly to instill. It does not represent the training we’ve invested in or the measures we’ve taken to ensure accountability.”