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Lakers show solidarity, support for protests in wake of George Floyd being killed by police

The Lakers took to social media to push a unified message in the wake of the protests over police brutality and the death of George Floyd.

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In 2014, LeBron James wore an “I CAN’T BREATHE” shirt to honor Eric Garner, who like George Floyd died at the hands of police.
Photo by Rich Kane/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

People around the United States joined together to protest police brutality over the weekend, ignited by the killing of Minneapolis native George Floyd at the hands of police. Floyd, 46, was pinned the ground for nine minutes by police officer Derek Chauvin as he struggled for air and eventually died, and video of his death sparked outrage on social media and led to protesters taking to the streets with the message that Black Lives Matter.

Chauvin and the three other officers on the scene were subsequently fired, and he has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter and arrested.

In the image at the top of this page, Lakers star LeBron James can be seen in 2014, when as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers he was among the players to wear one of the “I Can’t Breathe” shirts distributed by Jarrett Jack to honor and protest the death of Eric Garner at the hands of police. Garner could be heard saying those words in video of his death, and six years later, Floyd was saying the same thing as he suffocated. James was among the many to see the parallels, posting a photo of himself in the shirt with the caption “STILL!!!!”

It was far from the only way members of the Lakers would comment on Floyd’s death, and the protests it fueled over the weekend. By Sunday night, every member of the full-time, 15-man roster had posted this message in a show of solidarity:

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Nearly every member of the team also took to their social media platforms to comment on Floyd’s death and the protests surrounding it in one form or another, with Kyle Kuzma posting the most extensive thoughts:

But he was far from the only member of the team to comment in one way or another:

The organization also put out a statement that was re-shared by both Jeanie and Jesse Buss on their Instagram accounts:

James himself wrapped up his weekend of posts with a critique of the media, sharing a peaceful protest video taken by a local media outlet in Colorado and saying that he didn’t think the media would show images like that on their airwaves:

On Sunday night though, on NBC’s Los Angeles affiliate, James got his wish:

There still exist those who want athletes to stick to sports. This power to help change the conversation and make people consider perspectives they hadn’t before, or influence coverage in a direction they feel is important, is exactly why they shouldn’t and won’t.

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