'Justice served': Sporting world reacts to Derek Chauvin verdict

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
LeBron James, pictured here in action in the NBA.
LeBron James was among a number of athletes to react to Derek Chauvin's conviction. Image: Getty/AAP

The sporting world has reacted after former Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin was convicted of all three charges of murder and manslaughter in the deadly arrest of George Floyd.

The 12-member jury found Chauvin, 45, criminally liable in Floyd's death last year after considering three weeks of testimony from 45 witnesses.

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Deliberations began on Monday and lasted just more than 10 hours.

Floyd's murder prompted an outpouring of civil unrest across America that extended to the sports community.

Leagues like the NBA, WNBA and NFL adopted "Black Lives Matter" and "End Racism" messages as themes of their 2020 seasons amid athlete backlash against another Black man's death at the hands of police.

Athletes, teams and leagues across the sporting landscape reacted to the news of Tuesday's verdict.

NBA superstar LeBron James simply tweeted: "ACCOUNTABILITY".

Karl-Anthony Towns tweeted: "Justice and Accountability! Things I never thought I would see. 

"There’s much more work to do, but this is an amazing start working toward the reform this country NEEDS!"

While NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace wrote: "Justice served on all counts. Good. Still a ton of work to do. Continue to rest peacefully George Floyd."

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Derek Chauvin found guilty

In a confrontation captured on video, Chauvin pushed his knee into the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man in handcuffs, for more than nine minutes on May 25, 2020.

The incident occurred as Chauvin and three fellow officers arrested Floyd, who was accused of using a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes at a grocery store.

Chauvin, wearing a grey suit as well as a light-blue pandemic-related face mask, nodded and stood quickly when the judge ruled his bail was revoked and he was taken into custody. 

Sentencing will be in two months.

Derek Chauvin, pictured here during his trial for the murder of George Floyd.
Derek Chauvin listens as the verdict is read in his trial. (Image: AAP)

Chauvin had pleaded not guilty to the charges of second-degree unintentional murder involving "intentional infliction of bodily harm", third-degree unintentional "depraved mind" murder involving an "act eminently dangerous to others", and second-degree manslaughter involving a death caused by "culpable negligence".

Outside the courthouse on Tuesday afternoon, a crowd of several hundred people erupted in cheers when the verdict was announced.

Chants of "George Floyd" and "All three counts" broke out. 

At George Floyd square in Minneapolis, the intersection where Floyd was killed and is now named after him, people screamed, applauded and wept. 

The site has since become a rallying point for racial justice protests.

"Justice for black America is justice for all of America," the Floyd family's lawyer Benjamin Crump said in a statement. 

"This case is a turning point in American history for accountability of law enforcement and sends a clear message we hope is heard clearly in every city and every state."

with AAP

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