As the brutal video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police circulated, it sent shockwaves across the nation as well as throughout the sports world.
For many, the incident was reminiscent of the Eric Gardner, the New York man that was sparked the phrase “I Can’t Breathe” after he was choked by the NYPD. Familiar feelings of hurt, fear and anger came rushing back for many.
Women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley was one of the few vocal leaders for the University of South Carolina during the early stages.
“When will this deep rooted racism stop?!!” she asked on her personal Twitter page. “More senselessness all because the color of his skin. The time is long overdue to DO BETTER! #GeorgeFloyd.”
She later applauded the University of Minnesota who announced Thursday that they plan on severing ties with the Minneapolis Police Department following the incident.
University president Joan Gabel sent a letter to students, faculty and staff addressing the issue.
“Our hearts are broken after watching the appalling video capturing the actions of Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) officers against George Floyd leading to his tragic death,” she said in the letter. “As a community, we are outraged and grief-stricken. I do not have the words to fully express my pain and anger and I know that many in our community share these feelings, but also fear for their own safety. This will not stand.”
Members of the community rallied together including members of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who showed up to support former NBA player Stephen Jackson as he spoke at a rally and eulogized his friend Floyd.
Jackson said he called Floyd his twin and gave a passionate speech about the change that needs to take place in the country.
This prompted tweets from the WNBA, who saw the Minnesota Lynx on the frontline four years ago after the death of Philando Castile.
News hit Friday that Derek Chauvin, the officer responsible for the death of Floyd, was arrested and charged with 3rd degree murder and manslaughter.