Lewis Hamilton and Michael Jordan speak out after George Floyd's death
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Lewis Hamilton and Michael Jordan speak out after George Floyd’s death

By Tommy Fradenburg

Contributing Writer for Telegraph Local | See @tommyfradenburg

For the past few months, COVID-19 has dominated the headlines; generating massive amounts of both headlines and controversy.

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But on May 25, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin responded to a report about 46-year-old George Floyd allegedly paying for cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. He ended up killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes; leading to Floyd suffocating.

What has followed has been nothing short of a national riot with numerous protests over police brutality across the United States; with many turning violent and multiple cities instituting curfews.

Many Voices

Many people of status and stature have spoken out about the killing and greater issue of racism in America at large. NBA Hall of Famer and Charlotte Hornets owner Micheal Jordan released a statement through the platform of his team on Sunday.

“I am deeply saddened, truly pained and plain angry,” he said.

“I see and feel everyone’s pain, outrage and frustration. I stand with those who are calling out the ingrained racism and violence toward people of color in our country. We have had enough.”

The subject of the recently released “Last Dance,” documentary also expressed his condolences for the Floyd family and spoke up for unity against police brutality.

“I don’t have the answers, but our collective voices show strength and the inability to be divided by others. We must listen to each other, show compassion and empathy and never turn our backs on senseless brutality.”

Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton, the 35-year-old six-time Formula One champion from the United Kingdom also spoke out; also calling out those remaining silent on the matter.

“I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest of stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice. Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white dominated sport,” he said. “I’m one of the only people of color there yet I stand alone. I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you can’t stand alongside us.”

He did say he doesn’t support looting or other violence, but rather stands with those protesting peacefully.

Protests at Home and Abroad

For the time being even the practice of social distancing has been put on hold as thousands of people across America and abroad have taken to the streets to express their displeasure with a system that has a history with far too many stories similar to those of Floyd’s.

According to the New York Times police arrested more than 7,000 people this weekend alone; with lots of footage surfacing of shocking interactions between law enforcement and protestors.

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But while demonstrators have taken to the streets all across the United States, civilians of other nations have also expressed their solidarity with Floyd. Crowds gathered everywhere from America’s northern neighbor Canada to Brazil and across the Atlantic in London.

Police have arrested Chauvin and charged him with manslaughter.

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