Donovan Mitchell reacts to George Floyd mural being vandalized in Utah
Can’t even have a mural…. it’s sad dawg real sad! https://t.co/8ChupoJJHM
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) June 21, 2020
Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis at the end of May when an officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The officers involved in the incident were fired and charged, with the kneeling officer — Derek Chauvin — charged with second-degree murder.
Floyd’s death sparked a nationwide surge in protests against police brutality and racial injustice. Numerous NBA players also got involved, joining common citizens and leading demonstrations.
Unfortunately, the call for change has also elicited vulgar responses from some segments of the American population, something the Jazz star understands only too well.
Donovan Mitchell posted on Instagram in celebration of Juneteenth, the date commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. The image was a simple statement: “free-ish.”
The implication was Black Americans still face a set of hardships and are also frequently exposed to discrimination and overwhelming cases of police violence.
Mitchell’s statement was straightforward, and it is a message many protesters are sharing in a pursuit for racial equality and social reform. Yet, his post was subjected to criticism. The Jazz guard then asked on Saturday why fans tend to limit athletes’ level of engagement on social issues.
The Jazz organization has had to deal with numerous incidents involving fans targeting players with racially-charged language. As frustrating as it is, it might not come as much of a surprise some fans do not stand with Mitchell in the call for equality.
The U.S. clearly has a long way to go in shifting attitudinal behaviors. George Floyd’s mural should have served as a symbol for hope and change, but the vandals in Salt Lake City clearly do not believe in that message.