George Floyd’s brother thanks Raiders for controversial tweet

"Let's take this breath together in honor of my big brother who couldn't. Let's do it for George," said Philonise Floyd.

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The family of George Floyd has issued a statement to thank the Las Vegas Raiders for their tweet of support despite the widespread backlash.

Read More: Biden, Harris call George Floyd’s family after Chauvin guilty verdict

Released through attorney Ben Crump, the statement was drafted by Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s youngest brother, who was vocal throughout the trial.

“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,” Floyd said in the memo.

Minneapolis Reacts To Verdict In Derek Chauvin Trial
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – APRIL 20: (L-R) Philonise Floyd, Floyd family attorney Ben Crump and the Rev. Al Sharpton raise their fists following today’s verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin on April 20, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty on all three charges he faced in the death of George Floyd. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

He continued, “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 had 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.”

The statement was sent out as a quote tweet, also sharing the controversial message created by the Raiders after the guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin was announced.

Read More: Garland announces police probe day after Floyd case verdict

The initial tweet, bold white text over a solid black background marked with the Raiders logo, stated “I can breathe,” marked by the date the verdict was announced. theGrio reported the NFL team owner Mark Davis said he would not apologize nor retract the tweet after critics pointed out the statement was “tone-deaf.”

Davis said the tweet was inspired by statements made by Philonise Floyd, who said, in part, that he and his family “are able to breathe again” after the guilty verdict against the man who killed his older brother. 

Las Vegas Raiders owner and managing general partner and Las Vegas Aces owner Mark Davis attends last month’s UCLA-Stanford championship game of the Pac-12 Conference women’s basketball tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Tashan Reed, who writes for The Athletic, spoke with Davis and shared his remarks in a Twitter thread. 

According to Reed, “#Raiders owner Mark Davis said the ‘I Can Breathe’ wording came from George Floyd’s brother Philonise, who said, ‘Today, we are able to breathe again.’ Davis added: ‘If I offended the family, then I’m deeply, deeply disappointed.’ He also said the post won’t be deleted.” 

“Davis said he wasn’t aware that NYPD supporters wore ‘I Can Breathe’ shirts following the 2014 killing of Eric Garner,” Reed continued. “After I brought that up to him he said, ‘I learned something… I have to do a little bit more research into that just so I can speak coherently on that aspect.’

“More from Davis: ‘Let me say this right off the bat: I was not aware of that. Absolutely not. I had no idea of that. That’s a situation that I was not aware of. I can see where there could be some negativity towards what I said based on that.’”

This article contains additional reporting from theGrio’s Biba Adams.

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