The Misconception of The Raiders
The verdict of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd influenced the world. It showed many to have faith in justice admidst injustice in our society.
After the jury determined that Chauvin would face up to 40 years of prison time, many people and organizations expressed gratitude towards Floyd’s family. The sports world was part of the big portion of people who showed gratitude. Many professional athletes and owners from numerous sports like basketball, football, and baseball showed their support through social media. One tweet, though, received backlash from many people due to the word choice they chose to use in their social media post.
Mark Davis, owner of the NFL team Las Vegas Raiders, shared a tweet after the verdict saying, “I CAN BREATHE 4-20-21.” A good number of people took this as disrespect to the whole situation because of Floyd’s last words before he was murdered by the police force, "I can't breathe." While the officer’s knee was on Floyd’s neck, Floyd kept stating that he could not breathe, signaling that the officer should get off and proceed with the arrest. Instead, those would go on to be Floyd’s last words.
The tweet quickly received national attention from the media because of the different outlooks. NBA superstar Lebron James was one of the more influential figures who expressed their dislike for the post. James, who is recognized as a strong political figure for athletes and a leader amongst the NBA, was not afraid to voice his opinion on the matter. “This is real??? Nah man this ain’t it at all…..” James' tweet also gained attention from the media, which helped start a war on the meaning of the tweet.
After much speculation, Mark Davis came out and expressed what he had meant from the tweet. Davis shared with the media that he in fact got the statement from Floyd’s brother, who said, “we can all breathe again” right after the verdict was released. “It said a lot about everything. I thought it was something where we could all breathe again. Justice was served. We still have a lot of work to do on social justice and police brutality. But today, justice was served, ” said Davis. “It was taken negatively by 99% of the people. That happens. That’s part of social media.”
After Davis’ statement, Floyd’s brother, Philonise, released a statement to the press supporting the Raiders and issuing that there is no problem to what Davis had posted. Even though the speculations still live on, it ended the numerous speculations from many people because of the connection with the family who we are all trying to comfort from what had transpired last year.