ASHBURN, Va. -- Like many other teams and sports leagues, the Washington Football Team has issued a statement on Tuesday evening just before 7 p.m. ET in regard to the announcement of a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial on the murder of George Floyd.
The statement uses terms like "painful" and "searing" along with calling Floyd's murder a 'senseless' killing.
The WFT wrote, "This guilty verdict rendered sends a long overdue message that those who perpetuate the mistreatment of communities of color can and will be held accountable.''
Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who in March 2020 knelt on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes, was found guilty of all three charges against him.
Floyd's murder became a tragic illustration of what Black Americans have long said about the ways that the criminal justice system dehumanizes Black people. It set off mass protests and unrest across the country, and became a flash-point topic in the sports world.
The Washington Football Team's controversial history with their own now discarded moniker and the racist actions of original team owner George Preston Marshall makes the organization's words important ones.
The Washington Football Team has recently been cited for its progressiveness, having hired the first ever Black president of an NFL club. The WFT have undertaken many other measures to create a less hostile and more inclusive work environment and culture both on the field and off of it.
At the same time come the words of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office prosecuted the case, as he cautioned that the verdicts are not the end of the struggles.
"I would not call today's verdict 'justice,'' he said, "because justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step toward justice.''