On Tuesday, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on all three counts he faced in the death of George Floyd. After a day of deliberations, a jury found Chauvin guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The conviction is a watershed moment for racial justice in America. In the aftermath of Floyd's killing, nationwide protests aimed to highlight social injustice and systemic racism in America, particularly in regards to the police system. Those protests included many leagues, teams and athletes from the sports world, so it's no surprise that Tuesday's verdict elicited reactions and statements from across sports.
LeBron James, who has consistently been active and outspoken on many social issues over the years, weighed in with one simple word following the verdict:
ACCOUNTABILITY— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 20, 2021
Patrick Mahomes also had a very concise response:
🙏🏽— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) April 20, 2021
Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns, who has seen the trial play out in Minneapolis over the past month, also weighed in on Tuesday afternoon.
Justice and Accountability! Things I never thought I would see. There’s much more work to do, but this is an amazing start working toward the reform this country NEEDS!— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) April 20, 2021
A number of other notable athletes took to social media as well:
WAY MORE WORK TO DO.— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) April 20, 2021
Remember, the jurors only did the right thing. Nothing special, not above & beyond. They held Derek Chauvin accountable for his actions under the law. That was their job, & they did it. We just aren’t use to seeing it. This was the verdict we as a country deserved.— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) April 20, 2021
Several of the major sports leagues released statements addressing the result of the trial while also pledging to continue moving justice and equality efforts forward.
Chauvin's sentencing hearing will take place in about eight weeks. Three additional officers are charged with aiding and abetting, and are expected to be tried jointly in August.