George Floyd’s brother supports Raiders after everyone from LeBron to Clay Travis trashes their tweet

©The Mercury News

George Floyd’s brother came to the defense of the Raiders a day after the team faced fallout from a tweet intended to honor the man who was murdered by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

After Chauvin was convicted Tuesday of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death last year, at team owner Mark Davis’ behest the Raiders sent out what appeared to be a tone-deaf tweet with a play on Floyd’s dying words.

“I CAN BREATHE 4-20-21” read the Raiders’ tweet shortly after the jury announced its verdict. Floyd died last May shortly after telling Minneapolis officers multiple times “I can’t breathe.”

While LeBron James and others roundly criticized the Raiders’ choice of words, Philonise Floyd issued a statement Wednesday in support of the Raiders.

“On behalf of our family, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the Las Vegas Raiders organization and its leadership for their support of our family and for our nation’s ongoing pursuit of justice and equality for all,” Philonise Floyd wrote. “Now, more than ever, we must come together as one and continue on in this fight. For the first time in almost a year, our family has taken a breath. And I know that goes for so many across the nation and globe, as well. Let’s take this breath together in honor of my big brother who couldn’t. Let’s do it for George.”

Davis told The Associated Press he took a cue from Floyd’s brother after he heard Philonise Floyd react to the verdict by saying, “we can all breathe again.”

“I thought that said a lot,” Davis said. “It said a lot about everything. I thought it was something where we could all breathe again. Justice was served. We still have a lot of work to do on social justice and police brutality. But today, justice was served.”

James first tweeted “ACCOUNTABILITY” after the verdict was announced, then reacted strongly after seeing the Raiders’ reaction.

“This is real???? Nah man this ain’t it at all.” James tweeted.

It wasn’t just liberal-leaning sports voices confounded by the message. Conservative sports commentator Clay Travis was also among those who couldn’t believe the Raiders’ response.

“I understand Mark Davis is taking responsibility for it. But there’s no way an NFL owner is making this graphic and Tweeting it from his phone. Had to be a team effort,” Travis tweeted.

Davis, though, still stands by the sentiments of his tweet.

“It was taken negatively by 99% of the people,” Davis said. “That happens. That’s part of social media.”