NBA chief Adam Silver applauded the outcome of the Derek Chauvin murder trial on Tuesday, saying justice had been served against the former police officer found guilty of killing unarmed Black man George Floyd.
In a joint statement with the National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts, the NBA chief said the league would continue to campaign for criminal justice and police reforms.
“George Floyd’s murder was a flash point for how we look at race and justice in our country, and we are pleased that justice appears to have beens served,” Silver and Roberts said.
“But we also recognize that there is much work to be done with the National Basketball Association and the National Basketball Players Association, together with our newly formed Social Justice Coalition, will redouble our efforts to advocate for meaningful change in the areas of criminal justice and policing,” they added.
NBA players joined nationwide protests against Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis in May last year, and the league later encouraged players to share social justice messages when the pandemic-interrupted season resumed.
The words “Black Lives Matter” were painted prominently on courts at games staged in the NBA’s bubble in Orlando.
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx WNBA teams both praised Tuesday’s verdict in a joint statement.
“One year ago, George Floyd was murdered, causing unimaginable pain and trauma for his family, the Minneapolis community, and communities across the nation,” the teams said.
“We are hopeful that today’s decision will serve as a step forward, but it does not ease the physical and emotional pain that continues in an environment where systemic racism exists.”