As the news of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin being found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd broke on Tuesday afternoon, #DerekChauvinTrial shot up to the No. 1 spot on Twitter’s trending topics and stayed there for the rest of the day.
In the aftermath of a case that captured the nation’s attention for months – spurring widespread protests and the onset of a full-blown racial reckoning – a litany of athletes, coaches and teams with local ties joined a growing national outpouring of mixed emotion and calls for future justice and change.
“Sadly George Floyd doesn’t get his life back, but the new found accountability may save a life in the future,” tweeted No. 1 overall basketball recruit and recent Gonzaga signee Chet Holmgren, who is from Minneapolis.
“Sending light & love to George Floyd’s family,” tweeted Eric McClellan, who played for GU from 2014-2016. “You’re suppose (sic) to be here, King.”
Noah Williams, a guard at Washington State, was more effusive: “U going to jail now … RIP GEORGE FLOYD”
Following other franchises that released statements addressing the verdict, the Seattle Storm’s ownership group of Lisa Brummel, Ginny Gilder and Dawn Trudeau praised the verdict in a statement released on the team’s Twitter, but underscored the need for sustained change.
“George Floyd should not have died. All the justice in the world, which this verdict does not come close to providing, is no substitute for life. Let us join together to establish police accountability as a core tenet of our judicial system.”
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott expressed a similar sentiment in his statement addressing the verdict, calling it “an important step forward for the family of George Floyd, the city of Minneapolis and the country as a whole.”
“While justice has been served,” he added, “it is a stark reminder that the needs for continued reform, education, conversation and action remain clear and present. The Pac-12 joins with communities across the nation in this opportunity for growth and healing.”
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