On Tuesday evening, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released a statement following the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, for the murder of George Floyd.
Found guilty on counts of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, Chauvin now awaits his sentencing while the larger portion of society looks ahead to what will hopefully be a more unified future.
“After today’s verdict, there still remains much work left to be done,” the organization said in the statement. “We stand committed to breaking down barriers to racial and social equality. We will continue working to bring our communities together by engaging in purposeful conversations, mentoring youth, encouraging inclusivity and acceptance, and leading through meaningful action for comprehensive social justice reform.”
Of course, not all fans of the football team want their sports mixed with politics and/or social issues. While this fact hasn’t deterred professional athletes from using their celebrity status to raise topics to the forefront, not all efforts by organizations have been met with widespread acceptance.
Backlash about the tweet began almost immediately with many calling for the organization to delete the tweet. Since then, team owner Mark Davis has taken responsibility for the message while also refusing to take it down.
Making remarks about the message, Davis was quoted by The Athletic’s Tashan Reed as saying the wording came from George Floyd’s brother Philonise who said, “Today, we are able to breathe again.”