The Raiders owner defended the team’s “I can breathe” tweet in response to the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict.
Raiders owner Mark Davis not only defended the tweet but said that he created the post.
“That’s my tweet. That was me,” Davis said to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I don’t want anyone in the organization taking heat. I take full responsibility for that.”
He later clarified that the post was paraphrasing a quote from George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd. After Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was found guilty on all three charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, Philonise said “Today, we are able to breathe again.”
His phrasing mirrored his brother’s cry of “I can’t breathe” when Chauvin kneeled on George’s neck while restraining him for more than nine minutes, ultimately killing George.
“If I offended the family, then I’m deeply, deeply disappointed,” Davis told The Athletic. Davis also said the post will not be deleted.
Davis said he was not aware that New York Police Department supporters wore “I can breathe” shirts in 2014 following the killing of Eric Garner. Similar to Floyd, Garner also repeatedly said “I can’t breathe” 11 times while multiple officers pinned him down.
“Let me say this right off the bat: I was not aware of that,” he told The Athletic. “Absolutely not. I had no idea of that. That’s a situation that I was not aware of. I can see where there could be some negativity towards what I said based on that.”
He does not plan to remove the post either, saying that “it’s already out there.”
“I rarely, rarely post stuff, but I’m not into erasing something,” Davis said to The Athletic. “It’s not an apology. I’m not embarrassed by what I said, but I did learn something now.”
Floyd’s death sparked a national movement calling for accountability when it came to the killing of unarmed Black men and women in police custody. People, including college and professional athletes, demonstrated and called for change after Floyd’s death.
NBA and WNBA players led the charge in speaking on social justice in the wake of Floyd’s murder as well as the murder of Breonna Taylor, and many more lost to police brutality and violence.
The jury reached its verdict after approximately 10 hours of deliberation. Numerous leagues and players took to social media and posted about Chauvin’s conviction.