Raiders receive backlash for ‘I can breathe’ tweet; owner Mark Davis says team won’t delete post

Raiders receive backlash for 'I can breathe' tweet; owner Mark Davis says team won't delete post

The Raiders received backlash Tuesday for a deaf-mute tweet after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted.

Chauvin, who appeared on video kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes 29 seconds, was convicted Tuesday on three charges related to his death on May 25, 2020: accidental second degree murder, third degree murder and Second degree homicide. These convictions carry maximum sentences of 40, 20 and 10 years, respectively.

The verdict sparked testimony from several professional leagues and teams, many of whom expressed their continued support for ending systemic racism and racial injustice. The Raiders tweeted a graphic with a single phrase, “I can breathe.”

The one-word statement has been viewed by many as a funky, toneless reversal of Floyd’s “I can’t breathe” scream. This footage shows that during the nearly 10 minutes that Chauvin was kneeling on his neck, he spoke more than 20 times.

Others pointed to similarities with black and white T-shirts worn by supporters of the New York Police Department in December 2014. About 100 such supporters wore the shirts that read “I can breathe thanks to the NYPD”. The group also sang, “Don’t Withstand the Arrest” and clashed with another group protesting the decision of a grand jury not to charge officer Daniel Pantaleo for his role in Eric Garner’s death on July 17, 2014.

Garner’s last words were, “I can’t breathe.”

Tashan Reed, the Raiders beatwriter for The Athletic, spoke to team owner Mark Davis, who said the tweet was based on testimony from Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd (who said, “We can breathe again” after Chauvin was convinced).

Mark Davis, owner of #Raiders, said the phrase “I can breathe” came from George Floyd’s brother Philonise, who said, “Today we can breathe again.”

Davis added, “When I’ve insulted the family, I am deeply disappointed.”

He also said the post will not be deleted.

– Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) April 21, 2021

Davis said he was unaware that NYPD supporters wore “I Can Breathe” shirts after the 2014 murder of Eric Garner. After I brought that to him, he said, “I’ve learned something … I need to do a little more research on it just so I can speak coherently about this aspect.”

– Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) April 21, 2021

More from Davis: “Let me put this right away: I wasn’t aware of this. Absolutely not. I had no idea about it. This is a situation I wasn’t aware of. I can see where there could be something negative about it what I said based on it. “

– Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) April 21, 2021

Davis: I won’t delete it. I could remove it and let it run. It’s already out there, Tashan … I seldom, seldom post things, but I am unable to delete anything. It’s not an excuse. I’m not embarrassed about what I said, but I’ve learned something now. “

– Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) April 21, 2021

DAVIS: I wasn’t watching the talking heads; i listened to the family. And I tried to take my lead from them. But if this (the “I Can Breath” T-shirts) is what the cops are wearing then it really is a bad statement. “

– Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) April 21, 2021