Reaction to the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of second-degree unintentional murder and two other charges Tuesday was swift and widespread, including in the North American sports community.
The NBA and the league's player association issued a joint statement: "George Floyd's murder was a flash point for how we look at race and justice in our country, and we are pleased that justice appears to have been served. But we also recognize that there is much work to be done and the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association, together with our newly formed Social Justice Coalition, will redouble our efforts to advocate for meaningful change in the areas of criminal justice and policing."
The jury deliberated for about 10 hours before declaring Chauvin guilty. Sentencing will take place in two months.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx had been at the forefront of early public action in Floyd's death on May 25, 2020.
On Tuesday, they issued a joint statement, saying, "We are hopeful that today's decision will serve as a step forward, but it does not ease the physical and emotional pain that continues in an environment where systemic racism exists. ... The Timberwolves and Lynx remain committed to influencing change, promoting impactful action, and using our platform to help heal and unite in pursuit of liberty and justice FOR ALL. "
WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a statement: "This past year, we have witnessed traumatizing instances of police brutality that Black Americans disproportionately experience, with the murder of George Floyd at the forefront of the conversation. While this verdict represents a step toward justice, we are reminded that justice is too often not the outcome for people of color.
"The WNBA/WNBPA Social Justice Council will continue its work to combat injustice and inequality in our country and hope this represents a true turning point for how the effects of systemic racism begin to be addressed. We stand with all those who have felt the deep impact of George Floyd's death."
NBA star LeBron James issued a one-word tweet: "Accountability."
Tennis star Naomi Osaka said she refrained from celebrating, tweeting: "I was going to make a celebratory tweet but then I was hit with sadness because we are celebrating something that is clear as day. The fact that so many injustices occurred to make us hold our breath toward this outcome is really telling."
And from NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace: "Justice served on all counts. Good. Still a ton of work to do. Continue to rest peacefully #GeorgeFloyd"
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