© Reuters. Reaction to the decision within the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin
By Steve Keating
(Reuters) – The sporting world celebrated the conviction on Tuesday of former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin for the homicide of George Floyd however cautioned there was nonetheless work forward to attain racial justice and equality.
The verdict adopted months of protest within the United States triggered by the homicide of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, final May that sparked a worldwide motion uniting athletes world wide.
In an arrest captured on video, Chauvin is seen pushing his knee into the neck of the handcuffed Floyd for greater than 9 minutes outdoors the grocery retailer the place he had been accused of shopping for cigarettes with a pretend $20 invoice.
“Thank God … guilty! Justice has been served!!,” tweeted NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.
The three-week trial had raised already uncooked tensions additional as cities throughout the U.S. braced for the potential of an unpopular verdict and extra protests.
There have been studies leagues had ready plans to postpone video games if the decision sparked violence however as a substitute there have been celebrations on the streets and throughout social media.
“JUSTICE for George! The emotions I feel right now are hard to describe,” mentioned Formula One’s solely Black driver, seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton on his Twitter account. “Derek Chauvin has been found guilty.
“This is monumental, George’s loss of life isn’t in useless.
“Convicting him of all three charges marks a new dawn in the fight for racial justice.”
A 12-member jury wanted solely 10 hours of deliberation to convict Chauvin of second-degree homicide, third-degree homicide and manslaughter.
Most of North America’s sport leagues have been fast to reply, the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS and WNBA all issuing statements praising the decision and promising to do extra to struggle racism.
“This past year, we have witnessed traumatizing instances of police brutality that Black Americans disproportionately experience, with the murder of George Floyd at the forefront of the conversation,” mentioned WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert in a press release.
“While this verdict represents a step toward justice, we are reminded that justice is too often not the outcome for people of color.
“The WNBA/WNBPA Social Justice Council will proceed its work to fight injustice and inequality in our nation and hope this represents a real turning level for a way the results of systemic racism start to be addressed.”
The NBA and its players led the Black Lives Matter movement from the front throughout, postponing three playoff games in August following the police shooting of another Black man, Jacob Blake, in the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The move triggered similar demonstrations across other sports with MLB, MLS and WNBA also postponing games, while four-times tennis Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka joined the protests by pulling out of a tournament after reaching the semi-finals.
Los Angeles Lakers all-star LeBron James, one of the sporting world’s loudest voices in the fight against police brutality, had just one word to describe the verdict: “ACCOUNTABILITY,” tweeted James.
On tennis’s largest stage Japan’s Osaka stepped up and took a number one function on the U.S. Open, carrying masks with the identify of a Black sufferer of police brutality, together with Floyd, in every of her seven matches on the best way to successful the Grand Slam.
“I was going to make a celebratory tweet but then I was hit with sadness because we are celebrating something that is clear as day,” tweeted Osaka. “The fact that so many injustices occurred to make us hold our breath toward this outcome is really telling.”