West Indies cricket legend Chris Gayle on Monday joined a bandwagon of sports stars condemning the killing of George Floyd, an African-American man who died in Minneapolis after a white police officer knelt on his neck.
A video footage of George Floyd’s arrest went viral on social media on the day of his death on May 25 in which a white police officer can be seen kneeling on the neck of Floyd for nearly 9 minutes before he died.
Derek Chauvin, the since-fired 44-year-old police officer involved in the incident, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He was released on $500,000 bail and is due to appear in court on June 8, according to jail records.
The 46-year-old George Floyd’s death has triggered massive outrage and unrest with the imposition of curfews in dozens of cities across the United States, while in London a demonstration was held in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Gayle wrote on social media that racism is an issue that exists even in cricket and even he has faced it being a black man.
“Black lives matter just like any other life. Black people matter, p***k all racist people, stop taking black people for fools, even our own black people wise the p***k up and stop bringing down your own! I have travelled the globe and experience racial remarks towards me because I am black, believe me, the list goes on.
“Racism is not only in football, it’s in cricket too. Even within teams as a black man, I get the end of the stick. Black and powerful. Black and proud,” Gayle wrote in his Instagram story.
According to prosecutors, preliminary findings from an official autopsy last week said the combined effects of being restrained, potential intoxicants in Floyd’s system and his underlying health issues, including heart disease, likely contributed to his death.
But Floyd’s family planned to announce the findings of an independent autopsy into his death.
Sports figures such as Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton and Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford also took to social media to express their anger and disappointment at the incident.
I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest of stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice,” wrote Hamilton.
“Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white dominated sport. I’m one of the only people of colour there yet I stand alone,” he added.