On Monday, May 25, four Minneapolis police officers responded to a call claiming that George Floyd had tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes. In video that has since been seen worldwide, now-former officer Derek Chauvin pinned Floyd to the ground and put his knee on the back of his neck, suffocating him to death for nearly nine minutes, for much of which Floyd can be heard repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe,” until he was no longer breathing at all. Chauvin and the other four officers involved have all since been fired and criminally charged.
The footage went viral and ignited protests and demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism around the United States and rest of the world, with the Black Lives Matter movement organizing marches in cities around the globe.
At the height of those demonstrations the following weekend, members of the Los Angeles Lakers showed solidarity with the protesters on social media, and the team itself put out a statement on an all-black photo of the team in a huddle:
We condemn racism, bigotry, violence and prejudice in all its forms.
Everyone has the right to live free from fear and to be treated with dignity and respect.
We hear the pain of our Black community and we will not stay silent.
While that statement is a bit blasé in that it doesn’t even specifically mention police brutality or Floyd at all, the Lakers’ players have held true to the team’s promise to not be silent, speaking out on social media repeatedly and even at times joining with the demonstrators, among other advocacy.
Below, you can find all our coverage of their responses to and actions within this movement, and this page will update as those reactions and continue to roll in.