After the murder of George Floyd, an African American man, by a white Minnesota police officer, protests unfolded in cities across the country to express outrage over police brutality and systemic racism.
Professional athletes and teams across Pennsylvania used their platform to speak out. Here we highlight some of those statements. (*Note: This is not a complete list of all Pennsylvania teams/athletes who released statements.)
Sidney Crosby’s statement on George Floyd
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby:
“What happened to George Floyd cannot be ignored.”
— Sidney Crosby Foundation (@87Foundation) June 3, 2020
Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles
The Pittsburgh Steelers released a joint statement from owner Art Rooney II and players including Cam Heyward, James Conner, Vince Williams, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Ben Roethlisberger.
“I still can’t find my words to make sense of it all. Too many have died, and not enough has changed,” said Heyward.
Former Philadelphia Eagle Malcom Jenkins joined protesters in the streets.
The Philadelphia Eagles chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie commented:
Statement from Jeffrey Lurie, Chairman/CEO pic.twitter.com/Qwp7RZ9ofT
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) June 2, 2020
DraftKings takes a stand
At DraftKings, everyone wears the crown. pic.twitter.com/Bu4nODTq5X
— draftkingslife (@draftkingslife) May 29, 2020
Tobias Harris takes protests to streets, social media and Players’ Tribune
Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris joined protests in Philadelphia and wrote a column for The Players’ Tribune.
Harris’s column, “Y’all Hear Us, But You Ain’t Listening,” reads in part:
“In a lot of my conversations with white people lately, I’m getting that statement over and over again: ‘Let’s stop making this about race.’
That’s easy to say when your brother or your father is not that person on the ground with someone’s knee on his neck. Your brother, son, father is not that person running away, getting shot at, in broad daylight.
I really just want to tell those people, Shut the hell up — because this IS about race.
It’s always been about race.
And if we dig really deep, this also about HUMANITY.
If you can’t acknowledge that, then I can’t really have a dialogue with you.”
Philadelphia Flyers general manager and former Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher postponed a conference call with reporters on Monday. He did not feel it was right was to talk about hockey during these turbulent times reported Philly.com.
The Philadelphia Flyers statement:
— x-Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) June 2, 2020
Phillies and Pirates
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) June 2, 2020
— Pirates (@Pirates) June 2, 2020