Rockets Mourn 'Senseless Death' of Former Houston Resident George Floyd

Michael Shapiro

The Rockets issued a statement on the "senseless death," of former Houston resident George Floyd on Sunday, calling for an end to the "racism, bigotry, prejudice and fear," impacting the black community of Houston. 

Floyd, 46, died in police custody on May 25. He was handcuffed in Minneapolis by police officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd's neck for over eight minutes. Floyd can be seen on video repeatedly saying, "I can't breathe," during the incident. 

Protests have emerged throughout the country following Floyd's death, with demonstrators calling for an end to racial injustice across America. Numerous prominent NBA players and teams have condemned Floyd's death, including the Rockets. 

"We mourn for and are angered by the senseless death of George Floyd, a man raised in Houston’s Third Ward," Houston wrote in a statement. "Inexcusably, our black community continues to be subject to racism, bigotry, prejudice, and fear. This must end. All people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We condemn violence in all forms."

"As an organization, we are committed to working with our players, coaches, employees, and community leaders to affect meaningful and lasting change."

Numerous Rockets have spoken out in support of the protests following Floyd's tragic death. Houston guard Austin Rivers took to Instagram on Sunday, noting, "we all have a voice and chance to to work together to try and better things."

"Enough is enough. And to see people of all races protest together can only make me smile. This is past due [to be honest]. ...And to think in 2020 ignorance and racism still exists heavily in our country/world is so disappointing and disgusting," Rivers wrote. "But we all have a voice and chance to to work together to try and better things. I truly believe we (African Americans) are having a moment. ...We need to use this light to better our surroundings and quality of life in America."

Floyd's body will be returned to Houston to be buried at a funeral service attended by members of his family. A GoFundMe created by Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, has raised more than $5 million for the family.