Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis somehow made a tone-deaf tweet about the Derek Chauvin verdict even worse with his “apology.”
On Tuesday, former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts for the murder of George Floyd. It was a huge sigh of relief for the nation after a year of Black Lives Matter protests, social justice advocacy and a racial reckoning paid off with some form of accountability.
In their hurry to identify themselves as not being racist, however, plenty of brands and organizations just couldn’t help themselves, issuing tone-deaf statements or “tributes” that wound up doing more harm than good.
Case in point, and quite possibly the worst of the bunch? The Las Vegas Raiders‘ tweet of “I Can Breathe” with the date of 4-20-21 and the team logo stamped on it — an unbelievably insensitive reminder of Floyd’s cries of “I can’t breathe” while Chauvin knelt on his neck for nine and a half minutes.
Well, after the tweet was left up for an hour despite getting lambasted on Twitter, Raiders owner Mark Davis addressed the message with an “apology” that somehow made matters even worse:
#Raiders owner Mark Davis said the "I Can Breathe" wording came from George Floyd's brother Philonise, who said "Today, we are able to breathe again."
Davis added: "If I offended the family, then I'm deeply, deeply disappointed."
He also said the post won't be deleted.
— Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) April 21, 2021
Mark Davis and the Raiders just need to be quiet and delete that tweet
True enough, in the post-trial press conferences, Floyd’s brother, Philonise, said, “Today, we are able to breathe again.” But that sentiment was about his family, echoing the feelings of his family and their community — a circle that Davis and the Raiders are not a part of and definitely shouldn’t be infringing upon.
While the verdict was a small step in the right direction and a big relief to the family, it’s not true justice; it won’t bring George Floyd back from the dead or suddenly reverse his cries of “I can’t breathe” as he was being murdered. Throwing up a slogan that says “I can breathe” is a gross misinterpretation of what today’s verdict actually means. It suggests that all is well now that Chauvin’s been found guilty, when the reality of is that Floyd’s family still lost a father and a brother forever.
And this is just one rare case that’s received some form of accountability, when we’ve seen countless others go unchecked.
Mark Davis not only missed the point with a message he clearly wanted to send out, but even worse, his apology isn’t even a real apology, and he’s committed to leaving the tweet up despite how horribly insensitive and tone-deaf it is. When the “I can’t breathe” slogan was brought to his attention, he simply said he wasn’t aware of it and that he’d have to do his research to try and understand better.
No one can be that obtuse to plead ignorance to three words that were literally everywhere in 2020. Sending out that kind of tweet was already problematic enough, but the handling of it in the aftermath of all the negative feedback is somehow even more despicable.