Roommates, many people, and organizations took to social media yesterday to show support to George Floyd’s family after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of his death on all three counts. One of the organizations was the Las Vegas Raiders, who quickly received backlash after tweeting, “I CAN BREATHE 4-20-21.” The Raiders quickly trended on Twitter, and many felt that the tweet wasn’t made in good taste.
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According to reports from ESPN, the decision to make the tweet was made by Raiders owner #MarkDavis. Mark advised while speaking to Paul Gutierrez that he meant no disrespect to the Floyd family, and that he took the lead from Philonise, who stated after the guilty verdict was announced, that “Today, we are able to breathe again.” Mark is very firm on his stance and advised that he doesn’t plan on deleting the controversial tweet, which is still pinned to the Raiders’ Twitter account.
Although many felt the tweet was unnecessary, Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother, has released a statement and has a different opinion. Philonise wrote, “On behalf of our family, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the Las Vegas Raiders organization and its leadership for their support of our family and for our nation’s ongoing pursuit of justice and equality for all. Now, more than ever, we must come together as one and continue on in this fight. He continued,” For the first time in almost a year, our family has taken a breath. And I know that goes for so many across the nation and globe, as well. Let’s take this breath together in honor of my big brother, who couldn’t. Let’s do it for George.”
While it is clear that Mark meant no harm, he mentioned to The Associated Press and The Athletic that he wasn’t aware that the phrase “I can breathe” was used by supporters of police following the 2014 death of Eric Garner, whose last words were “I Can’t Breathe “. In addition, he continued to say that he wouldn’t have used that phrase if he had known the back story.
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