Las Vegas Raiders Refuses To Apologise For ‘I Can Breathe’ Post After Derek Chauvin Verdict
Las Vegas Raiders refuses to apologise for its tone deaf ‘I can breathe’ post in the wake of Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict.
The American football team shared the tweet in response to the verdict given in Chauvin’s trial for the murder of George Floyd.
During his arrest and in moments before his death Floyd told officers ‘I can’t breathe’ as former police officer Chauvin knelt on his neck. The phrase went on to be used widely across Black Lives Matter protests that Floyd‘s death ignited across the globe.
Now, in light of the jury finding Chauvin guilty yesterday, April 20, the Raiders tweeted a picture reading ‘I can breathe’ alongside the date.
People were quick to call out the team’s tweet for its controversial post with some demanding that it was taken down.
One person wrote, ‘I’ve said some stupid sh*t in my life, but dang y’all. George Floyd is still dead. His child is fatherless. Only one of the officers responsible for his murder have been held accountable so far. People of color are still being targeted disproportionately by police officers.’
Someone else said, ‘The police shot a 15 year old black girl while the jury was reading Chauvin’s guilty verdict. It’s not time to breathe easy yet.’
A third person commented, ‘Communications department approved this. PR department approved this. Digital team approved this. Legal, too, probably. Unreal.’
In the wake of the controversy that followed the tweet, Raiders owner Mark Davis has expressed disappointment if the tweet offended the Floyd family and said that he ‘meant no disrespect’ with the post. Davis explained that he ‘took the lead’ from Floyd’s brother, Philonise, who said, ‘Today, we are able to breathe again,’ following Chauvin’s guilty verdict.
He also took full responsibility for the tweet. Davis said, as per The Daily Beast, ‘That’s my tweet. I take full responsibility for that.’
While he hopes the tweet didn’t offend the Floyd family, Davis said in a separate statement that he won’t be removing the post and that he isn’t apologising for it.
He said to The Athletic:
I could un-pin it and let it run its course. It’s already out there. It’s not an apology. I’m not embarrassed by what I said, but I did learn something now.
Davis also explained that he wasn’t aware that the phrase ‘I can breathe’ was used by New York Police Department supporters following the death of Eric Garner in 2014 but that he can ‘see where there could be some negativity towards what I said based on that’.
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