LeBron James led the charge of high-profile athletes sharing their outrage online over the death of George Floyd, a black Minnesota man who died after being pinned down by the neck by Minneapolis police, according to ESPN.
Floyd, 46, was seen on viral video pleading for air while white cop Derek Chauvin pinned him down with a knee on his neck — an image James likened to former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem to protest the plight of black Americans.
“This… Is Why,” James posted on Instagram, with a photo of the two images side by side.
“Do you understand NOW!!??!!??,” he wrote. “Or is it still blurred to you? #StayWoke.”
NBA star Steph Curry also spoke out in his own Instagram post.
“If this image doesn’t disturb you and piss you off, then idk,” Curry wrote. “I’ve seen a lot of people speak up and try to articulate how fed up and anger they all are. All good and well but it’s the same sam same reality we live in.”
James and Curry were hardly the only sports icon chiming in on Floyd’s death, which has sparked national outrage.
“Worlds honestly sickening,” NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said on Twitter. “It really is…. no explanation.”
“DONE BEING QUIET AND DONE BEING ANGRY,” Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Lawrence said on his Twitter account. “HOW CAN WE FEEL SAFE WHEN THOSE MEANT TO PROTECT US ARE KILLIN’ US?!!!! WHEN WILL MINORITIES BE FREE TO BE AMERICANS IN AMERICA!?”
Boston Celtics hoopster Jaylen Brown added that “If I was in attendance I would have been arrested for sure.”
Floyd died Monday after four Minneapolis police officers responded to a report of an alleged forgery. The cops wrestled Floyd to the ground, where Chauvin is seen on the video with his knee on his neck.
“I cannot breathe, I cannot breathe,” Floyd is heard saying, as bystanders plead with police to release him.
On Tuesday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey fired all four officers who were at the scene, saying on Twitter that “this is the right call.”
The FBI and state authorities are investigating the incident.