Raiders Take Heat For Tweeting 'I Can Breathe' After Chauvin Conviction


The nation is still processing a guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin. On Tuesday afternoon, Chauvin was convicted on two counts of murder and one count of murder. While no verdict will ever return George Floyd to his family, many around the country welcomed the verdict. From Chlöe Bailey to Barack Obama, a number of prominent figures hoped in with their thoughts on this moment in American history. Adding to the conversation, a number of athletes and organizations also offered their thoughts on the verdict.

"Yo! I'm literally shedding tears right now," four-time NBA Champion LeBron James tweeted.

"All 50 States and 18 countries, pat yourself on the back. [You] made this happen. Thank [you] for feeling my pain," former NBA Champion and Floyd's childhood friend, Stephen Jackson, added.

While many offered thoughtful and measured responses, others did not. The Las Vegas Raiders faced intense criticism for their not so measured response to the verdict.

"I can breathe," the NFL organization tweeted out.

Immediately after the tweet went up, a number of people found it insensitive and cold. George Floyd, like Eric Garner and several others, screamed that they couldn't breathe before being killed by police officers. The phrase, "I can breathe," has also been used by many anti-Black Lives Matter groups over the years.

"This is what we won't do online," rapper and entrepreneur Paul Wall replied.

"This ain't it at all," James added.

After nearly an hour of being roasted online, Las Vegas Raiders Owner Mark Davis spoke to sports reporter Tashan Reed. During their conversation, Davis attempted to explain the thought process behind the tweet before stating that he would not take the tweet down.

"I wasn't watching the talking heads; I was listening to the family. And I was trying to take my lead from them. But if that's (the "I Can Breath" t-shirts) are what the cops are wearing then, really, it is a bad statement," Davis told Reed.

Davis was not the only person to take heat within the Raiders organization. Critics also fired shots at the team's predominantly white social media team. Many questioned how something that is widely perceived as tone-deaf at best could have been posted on their Twitter account, to begin with.

"This is why diversity is so important from top to bottom and all across the board within [organizations]," sports communications specialist Megan Reyes tweeted.

Today’s all about accountability so it is quite alright to hold sports teams' social people accountable too. The credit is always taken when cute and funny s--- goes viral," sports social media guru Alexis Robinson added.

After nearly twenty-four hours of controversy, the tweet remains up on the team's official account.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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