The death of George Floyd has caused riots and protests across the United States with many after the video of the officer putting his knee on Floyd’s neck that eventually caused his death was seen by millions. As thousands protest in the streets, athletes are using their social media to express their feelings.
Floyd, 46, died after pleading for help, as former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin used his knee on Floyd's neck to pin him -- unarmed and handcuffed -- to the ground. Chauvin continue to kneel on Floyd's neck for several minutes, while Floyd said repeatedly he couldn't breathe.
One of the loudest voices to emerge belonged to Palestine native and Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson.
“The right call is locking these animals up for murdering George Floyd!!!” Peterson wrote on Twitter Wednesday night in response to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D), who tweeted the police department had fired the four officers involved in Floyd's death.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter, as reported by CBS Minnesota. Chauvin had been a Minneapolis police officer for 19 years.
Peterson went on to tweet how tired he was of walking around angry. Even going as far as to say “If I was there this man would be alive!”
“There's no way that I personally could sit there and watch another human being be murdered by the hands of those who swore to protect us! So sad!!! I'm trying my hardest not to allow my heart to become hardened,” Peterson ended his series of tweets with.
As a range of players called for unity and understanding in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the debate over Colin Kaepernick and his campaign for social justice resurfaced.
Peterson made it crystal clear that he believes former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick deserves another chance to play in the NFL.
"Without a doubt," Peterson said in an interview with NBC.
A great number of players, teams, and other institutions around the NFL have spoken out on the subject of Floyd's death, including the Players Coalition, Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, NFLPA president J.C. Tretter, and now Roger Goodell.
The NFL commissioner released a statement on Saturday evening, conveying his and the league's sadness of the situation. Goodell also relayed the league's responsibility to continue pushing for social justice, using its immense platform.
“The NFL family is greatly saddened by the tragic events across our country. The protesters' reactions to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel.
Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. George Floyd and to those who have lost loved ones, including the families of Ms. Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, the cousin of Tracy Walker of the Detroit Lions.
As current events dramatically underscore, there remains much more to do as a country and as a league. These tragedies inform the NFL's commitment and our ongoing efforts. There remains an urgent need for action. We recognize the power of our platform in communities and as part of the fabric of American society. We embrace that responsibility and are committed to continuing the important work to address these systemic issues together with our players, clubs and partners.”