Story at a glance

  • The Raiders tweeted a graphic with the caption “I CAN BREATHE,” and the date of Chauvin’s conviction underneath.
  • The statement was in reference to Floyd, who said, “I can’t breathe” several times as he was pinned to the ground by Chauvin for more than nine minutes.
  • The tweet didn’t go over well with many online.

The Las Vegas Raiders are facing criticism for a tweet posted following the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial. 

On Tuesday, the former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty on all charges in the murder of George Floyd, whose death last summer sparked months of demonstrations against racial inequality and police brutality. 


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Following the verdict, the NFL team tweeted a graphic with the caption “I CAN BREATHE,” with the date of Chauvin’s conviction underneath. The statement was in reference to Floyd, who said, “I can’t breathe” several times as he was pinned to the ground by Chauvin for more than nine minutes during the deadly arrest in May 2020. The phrase has become a rallying cry during protests against police brutality. 

While the team intended the tweet to be in support of the verdict, the caption didn’t go over well with many online who believed the tweet was tone deaf. 

“Smh (shaking my head),” two-time Super Bowl champion wide receiver Torrey Smith tweeted. “Delete this.” 

Team owner Mark Davis in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal took responsibility for the tweet, and said he was inspired by Floyd’s brother, Philonise, who said “we are able to breathe again because justice for George means freedom for all.” 

Davis told the news outlet he would not remove the tweet and would only apologize if the Floyd family was offended.

“I honesty believe after listening to Philonise, this is a day that we can all breathe,” Davis told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. 


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Published on Apr 21, 2021