Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons legend Dennis Rodman has weighed in on the protests around America sparked by the death of George Floyd, saying: “Please, please understand, we have to live together – we’re human beings, we’re not f*****g animals.”
Many athletes have spoken out since Floyd, a black American, died last Monday in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. Among those to voice their support of Floyd were Rodman’s former Bulls team-mate Michael Jordan, professional golfer Tiger Woods, and former boxing world champion Floyd Mayweather, who offered to cover Floyd’s funeral costs.
On Sunday, former NBA star Rodman uploaded a video to Instagram, calling on people involved in protests in American cities such as Minneapolis, Albuquerque and Washington to avoid rioting, looting, and vandalising.
“It’s a bad situation and I think that we should all understand there’s a new generation,” Rodman said. “People my age knew about the Rodney King thing and things started to happen. People looting, setting fires, damaging people’s homes, businesses, stuff like that.
“And now we have this incident. I think someone needs to come out and say: ‘Hey guys, why are we looting? Why are we stealing? Why are we creating more issues, more problems, stuff like that. Let’s get to the head of what’s really going on.
“You’ve got to protest in the right way. You don’t have to go and burn down things, steal things, burn things, stuff like that. We have to keep things together. We’ve got enough issues with the Covid virus right now. We have enough issues. But for this to happen right now, we just add to it.
“You got people, big corporations closing stores, because people are looting. Why? Why are we doing this? Why are we hurting each other again? Why not just help each other, hold each other’s hands, and try to solve the problem? We didn’t create this problem, but guess what, we can help.
“Especially the new generation today. The 21st-century generation. Help us as older individuals who understand this. Don’t add to it.
“Please, please understand. We have to live together. We’re human beings. We’re not f*****g animals. We’re human beings.”
Rodman was one of the key figures to feature in Jason Hehir’s Netflix and ESPN documentary series The Last Dance, which began airing in April. The series centres on the Chicago Bulls’ 1997/98 season, as the franchise pursued a historic second championship treble of the decade.