LeBron’s one-word tweet says it all
NBA officials and players were quick to react as former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd in the United States.
The jury deliberated for 10 hours before arriving at a unanimous verdict, finding Chauvin guilty on all three counts: second degree unintentional murder, third degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
The videotaped final moments off Floyd's life last May sparked protests around the globe, and particularly in the NBA as players protested against racial injustice and police brutality.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts released a joint statement almost immediately after Wednesday's verdict.
"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," the statement read.
"But we also recognise 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."
LA Lakers star LeBron James, who has been at the forefront in sport when it comes to speaking out against racism, tweeted a single word after the verdict was announced. "ACCOUNTABILITY," he wrote.
Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns also responded.
"Justice and Accountability! Things I never thought I would see," he tweeted. "There's much more work to do, but this is an amazing start working toward the reform this country NEEDS!"
The Timberwolves also released a team statement, saying: "Throughout our history, racial and social inequalities have been ingrained in our society. 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."
When video of Chauvin putting his knee into Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes spread around the world last year, it prompted protests. The NBA had been on pause due to COVID-19, but when the league resumed play in its bubble, teams were allowed to don social justice slogans like "Equality" on their jerseys. Black Lives Matter was painted on the court for every game.
"God is good all the time," tweeted Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell.
Former NBA star Jamal Crawford wrote: "Accountability …. RIP George Floyd.
"But the fact we all saw what we saw last year, and STILL were nervous about if he would be held accountable, shows how far we have to go …"
This story appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as LeBron's one-word tweet says it all