Minnesota teams react to Derek Chauvin verdict

The state of Minnesota has been under siege for quite some time. The guilty verdicts by a mixed jury on three murder charges for former police officer Derek Chauvin gave the city a small, but well-deserved reprieve from the trauma of police violence against Black Americans and people of color.

Since the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died on the streets calling for his mother as Chauvin knelt on his neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds on May 20, 2020, there has been a ravenous appetite from the public to quell police violence or reform the criminal justice system.

Sports leagues across the spectrum have taken up the social justice mantle to speak out on this societal ill. Both the NBA and WNBA have been at the forefront of this ongoing movement. The NBA shut down for a couple of games last season because of it. So, it’s not surprising that the Minnesota Timberwolves would have something to say.

For Minnesota sports teams in general, it has been a taxing year for them as well as they have had to balance community sensitivity, moral responsibility and keeping in step with the professionalism of their respective franchises. Like their counterparts, the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA, the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL, and MLB’s Minnesota Twins issued their reactions via statements to the Derek Chauvin trial.

When you talk about being involved in the community and listening to the voice of its fans, the WNBA has been on top of it. So, it would be no surprise that the Lynx issued their own statement on the matter.

Part of the Twins statement talks about healing and finding ways of commonality.

The events of this past year have shown just how toxic and prevalent systemic and individual racism are to our community. We understand more deeply than ever the need to listen, learn and empathize in order to find ways to move forward together to build a more just community for all,” the statement reads. “The eyes of the world have been on the Derek Chauvin trial and now on the tragic death of Daunte Wright. We are horrified and ashamed that this keeps happening to Black people in our community and many other cities across our country.”

The other professional ballclub in the Twin Cities is the Minnesota Wild, the NHL representative. Like their counterparts, the Wild issued a statement about the verdict.

The Chauvin verdict in which the former Minnesota police officer was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, is but one step in the state righting the wrong in fighting injustice. The recent killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright and the previous shooting death of Philando Castile in 2016, serves as a reminder that the state has a long healing process and fixing to do. Chauvin going to prison for the murder of Floyd is a big step in that direction.

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