Jazz Players, Owners, NBA Offer Thoughts On Floyd Verdict
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz and the NBA offered statements after jurors in the George Floyd murder trial reached a guilty verdict against former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.
Floyd was killed on May 25 in Minneapolis, leading to nationwide protests over social justice.
“Our hearts are with the George Floyd family today. His murder — among too many examples of senseless killings, systematic racism and injustice — has only heightened the urgency to peacefully and emphatically work towards creating sustainable and meaningful change. The work ahead of us remains clear, our resolve is strong, and our actions must be even stronger.”
Members of the Utah Jazz offered their thoughts after Chauvin’s guilty verdict was read.
“God is good all the time…..” All-Star Donovan Mitchell tweeted.
Mitchell has been outspoken on the issue of social justice in light of Floyd’s death and the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky near where the Jazz guard attended the University of Louisville.
Jazz owner Ryan Smith also extended his thoughts after the guilty verdict.
“My thoughts are with George Floyd’s family following his tragic murder and today’s verdict,” Smith tweeted. “We must all actively work toward meaningful, systemic change.”
After Floyd’s death, Smith, the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Qualtrics opted to match all employee donations for three months to several charities and non-profit organizations aimed at supporting the Black community.
Dwyane Wade On TNT
New Jazz minority shareowner Dwyane Wade discussed the conviction on Inside the NBA. Wade was announced as a member of the Jazz ownership group late last week.
The future Hall of Famer is a host on NBA on TNT on Tuesday nights alongside Candace Parker and Shaquille O’Neal.
“I was sitting in front of the TV watching the verdict come down and my hands start sweating, my body starts shivering and my heart started pounding,” Wade said.
“If it was any win today, it was a win for accountability. That’s the only win today — a win for accountability. We have to continue to keep George Floyd’s family lifted up in our prayers. We have to continue to pray for healing for the Black community across the world.”
Wade has been outspoken as a social activist throughout his career, including speaking at the 2016 ESPY’s about racial violence.
NBA And NBAPA Offers Statement
NBAPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement.
“George Floyd’s murder was a flash point for how we look at race and injustice in our country, and we are pleased that justice appears to have been served. But we also recognize that there is much work to be done and the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association, together with our newly-formed Social Justice Coalition, will redouble our efforts to advocate for meaningful change in the areas of criminal justice and policing.”
The NBA’s season was on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic when Floyd was killed but resumed in Orlando in July with a focus on social justice.
The league and its players restarted the season with used the opportunity inside the Disney World bubble to draw attention to equal rights issues in including policing in America.