A controversial tweet sent out by the team's account was reportedly created by Davis & caused a backlash on social media.
As people were processing the result of Derek Chauvin's murder trial, the Las Vegas Raiders posted an image to their Twitter account that diverted attention. Earlier today (April 20), we received the verdict heard around the world as Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter, and the news prompted tens of thousands of social media responses, including a controversial take by the Raiders.
Over on Twitter, the team collectively shared a text image that reads, "I Can Breathe 4-20-21." It's a nod to George Floyd's final moments as he begged for mercy and said "I can't breathe" while Chauvin knelt on his neck. The phrase was first made infamous in 2014 during the Eric Garner case when he was placed in a chokehold by New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo and killed on the street.
Megan Varner / Stringer / Getty Images
Suggesting that now that Chauvin has been convicted Floyd may now breathe sent social media into a tizzy. People called for the Raiders to take down the post, but it remains. The image caused so much controversy that Raiders owner Mark Davis came forward with an explanation and apology to ESPN.
Davis stated that he "meant no disrespect" with the message and claimed that the response was inspired by George Floyd's brother, Philonise. After the verdict was read, Philonise reportedly said, "Today, we are able to breathe again." Davis added, "I felt that was a powerful statement. Today was a day where I can breathe, and we can all breathe again because justice was served. But we have a lot of work to do still on social justice and police brutality."
Check out the Raiders' post as well as a few reactions before letting us know if you think people are overreacting.