The Las Vegas Raiders drew viral criticism online Tuesday over a tweet they posted shortly after a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of all charges brought against him in the death of George Floyd.

“I can breathe,” an image the NFL team posted to Twitter read, along with Tuesday’s date, hours after a verdict was reached in the weeks-long trial earlier in the day.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a statement obtained by The Athletic’s Tashan Reed later on Tuesday, the team’s owner, Mark Davis, said the tweet was a reference to comments made by Philonise Floyd, brother of George Floyd, earlier in the day after the verdict was announced.

At the time, he said, “Today, we are able to breathe again.”

“If I offended the family, then I'm deeply, deeply disappointed,” Davis said in the statement on Tuesday evening, while adding that the tweet will not be taken down.

A jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder for his role in Floyd's death after the officer was recorded kneeling on Floyd's neck during an arrest last year that preceded his death.

ADVERTISEMENT

In footage of the arrest that had been played during the trial over the past few weeks, Floyd could be heard saying, "I can’t breathe" while Chauvin continued pin him to the ground for more than nine minutes. 

The post drew considerable criticism from Twitter users, who urged the team to delete the tweet.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

 

ADVERTISEMENT