After a year of pledging support for social justice, brands, agencies and executives reacted on social media after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on three counts for the murder of George Floyd on Tuesday.
Many acknowledged the verdict as a positive step toward accountability. Ben & Jerry’s, the NBA and HBO reaffirmed their commitment to social equity while noting the work still to be done.
Justice requires accountability, but accountability alone must not be confused with justice. Derek Chauvin now faces accountability. George Floyd was denied justice the moment Chauvin’s knee took his last breath. (1/4)— Ben & Jerry's (@benandjerrys) April 21, 2021
NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following joint statement today: pic.twitter.com/r0XQkLssOb— NBA (@NBA) April 20, 2021
Others expressed condolences for George Floyd’s family and reiterated solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The statements come after nearly a year of pledges made to ramp up diversity, equity and inclusion at their own organizations and commitments to allyship with the Black community.
Statements continued to roll out through the evening as another police shooting resulted in the death of Black teenage girl, Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio, approximately 30 minutes before the jury delivered Chauvin’s guilty verdict.
Death of Black people at the hands of police has been an ever present issue in American history. The events surrounding this recent trial are a grim reminder of how far we as a society still have to go for the basic humanity of others to be valued, and treated as sacred.— Twitch (@Twitch) April 20, 2021
The horrific murder of George Floyd rocked us to our core. Today we are hopeful and reminded of why we fight for justice for all. @Cisco will continue to live our values, show up for our employees, customers & communities and stand for fairness, equity & truth.— Chuck Robbins (@ChuckRobbins) April 20, 2021
But not everyone got the tone right. The Las Vegas Raiders football team, for example, was accused of being “tone deaf” after posting a graphic displaying the message “I can breathe,” a play on George Floyd’s last words.
Many people reacted by saying brands shouldn’t respond to the verdict at all.
how brands shouldn’t respond to current events, a case study https://t.co/ULBGTy57Zf— Nathan Allebach (@nathanallebach) April 21, 2021
This is real???? Nah man this ain’t it at all. The F^%K!!!! ♂️ https://t.co/f44D7OQWfo— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021
They Could’ve said anything else . This is not a sigh of relief. That wasn’t justice, it was a accountability. This is so disrespectful! https://t.co/tg7UoFEehM— AJ Brown (@1kalwaysopen_) April 21, 2021
How the hell is this tweet still up? https://t.co/s2qyMJEmH8— Cope (Vaxxed & Taxxed) (@cxcope) April 21, 2021
The NFL also came under fire for posting a statement of solidarity, after blackballing Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police killings of Black people.
Why the fuck is the NFL commenting on a trial? https://t.co/NKpxs2cugq— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) April 21, 2021
“We accept the role we play in upholding white supremacy and violence to the Black people of this nation and this league after we punished one of our own for saying what we are saying now. We perpetuated and upheld racism, targeted harassment, and refused to protect Colin.”— Dani Fernandez (@msdanifernandez) April 21, 2021
This is a start, @NFL.— Samara Norman (@samaranorman) April 21, 2021
Now admit to the injustice you inflicted upon @Kaepernick7.
Admit the wrongful termination. Admit to keeping him from playing.
This, below, is literally WHY he took a knee.
You have work to do. https://t.co/CDD3BCfyuZ
We don't believe you.— Corey ↙️↙️↙️ 5️⃣ (@OldAssCorey) April 21, 2021
We saw how you did @Kaepernick7 and @E_Reid35 for speaking up about this.
Delete this performative and insincere tweet. No one wants your hollow "thoughts and prayers" statement. https://t.co/x7UPY9hsya
Just don’t kneel in protest though...right? https://t.co/EVF2dW1jRc— Francis Maxwell (@francismmaxwell) April 21, 2021