Lakers Release Statement After George Floyd's Death: 'We Hear The Pain Of Our Black Community'

Melissa Rohlin

The Lakers were among many NBA teams that released a statement following the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer on Monday and the ensuing protests across the nation.  

"We condemn racism, bigotry, violence and prejudice in all its forms," the Lakers said in a tweet Saturday. "Everyone has the right to live free from fear and to be treated with dignity and respect. We hear the pain of our Black community and we will not stay silent."

Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, died after white police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes in Minneapolis despite him saying multiple times that he couldn't breathe. 

The police were called by an employee at a local market after Floyd allegedly used a counterfeit $20 bill. 

Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other police officers were also involved in the incident. 

Widespread protests broke out over the weekend in many cities across the nation, including Los Angeles. After the protests devolved into looting in some places across the city on Saturday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti imposed an 8 p.m. curfew. 

California governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in the city shortly before midnight and activated the National Guard. 

The Clippers released a statement Sunday through coach Doc Rivers. 

"My father was a 30-year veteran of the Chicago police department, and if he were still with us right now, he'd be hurt and outraged by the senseless acts of racial injustice that continue to plague our country," Rivers said. "Being black in America is tough. I've personally been called more racial slurs than I can count, been pulled over many times because of the color of my skin, and even had my home burned down.

"The response we are seeing across the nation, to the murder of George Floyd, is decades in the making. Too often, people rush to judge the response, instead of the actions that prompted it. We have allowed too many tragedies to pass in vain. This isn't an African-American issue. This is a human issue. Our society must start getting comfortable with the uncomfortable conversation and do the right thing. Silence and inactivity are not acceptable anymore. Now is the time to speak. November is the time to vote. Your words carry a lot of weight and your ballots carry even more. The day has come to confront real problems, and be part of the solution."

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