NBA Players Expressed Relief At Derek Chauvin Being Found Guilty Of Murdering George Floyd

On Tuesday afternoon, the jury in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial handed down a verdict of guilty on all three counts — second degree murder, third degree murder, and second degree manslaughter — after the former Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd last summer by kneeling on his neck. The murder was captured on video and sparked a summer of protests against police brutality, racist policing practices, and the continued killing of Black people by excessive police force.

Among those that took up the call for systemic changes were NBA stars, who led and participated in marches nationwide and used their time in the Orlando Bubble and beyond to speak out and put these problems the Black community faces every day into the spotlight. As word that the verdict had been reached spread and we awaited official word, Karl-Anthony Towns, who has been a leading voice in Minneapolis and beyond during protests after George Floyd’s murder, offered a brief thought on how ridiculous it was that the collective feeling leading up to the verdict’s announcement was fear and concern for a murder we all saw happen on camera.

Once the verdict was announced, the NBA community, like millions elsewhere, let out a collective sigh. Some called it justice, while others pointed to it being simply accountability and a bit of progress, as justice would involve Floyd still being with us — others still had some suggestions for where Chauvin should be kept. In any case, the response was rather muted as the verdict does not bring Floyd back. But still, it was a brief win in the fight for, at minimum, accountability for police killing Black civilians and players expressed relief that for once, the incredibly broken system delivered a correct response.


The Timberwolves, WNBA and NBA also released statements following the verdict, promising to continue pushing for change and promoting action, noting the verdict is a positive step but is simply accountability for a wrong perpetrated and not a fix for the system that continues to perpetrate them.