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The Sports World Reacts to the Breonna Taylor Verdict: 'We Will Not Be Silent and Accept State Sanctioned Murder'

A protester walks toward Portland police with a sign honoring Breonna Taylor on September 23, 2020 in Portland, United States.
A protester walks toward Portland police with a sign honoring Breonna Taylor on September 23, 2020 in Portland, United States.
Photo: Nathan Howard (Getty Images)

We knew it was going to happen.

Yet despite having months to mentally prepare ourselves for the inevitable, it still rattled almost every last one of us to our core: there would be no justice for Breonna Taylor.

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As previously reported at The Root:

On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted former Louisville Metro police officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment. According to CNN, no charges were announced for Det. Myles Cosgrove or Sgt. John Mattingly—who recently sent an email to his colleagues denouncing the investigation and claiming he and his fellow officers did the “legal, moral and ethical thing that night.”—the other two officers involved in the fatal shooting that began with the botched serving of a drug warrant.

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In the time since the verdict was announced, I’ve failed miserably at trying to comprehend how you can be charged for potentially killing someone after actually doing so. Then I remembered I live in America, the same country I once fought for as a member of the United States Air Force, and it all made sense:

“Way to really rub it in,” Sam Aguiar, a Louisville, Ky., based injury lawyer, posted on Facebook. “Three counts for the shots into the apartment of the white neighbors, but no counts for the shots into the apartment of the black neighbors upstairs above Breonna’s. Let alone everything else you got wrong.”

This white supremacist nation doesn’t see us as human beings, and their laws and those entrusted to enforce them are a direct reflection of that. Period.

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“To be honest, I wasn’t surprised by the verdict,” Celtics guard Jaylen Brown told reporters on Wednesday. “This society, the way it was built, the intentions were never to protect and serve people of color.”

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Brown wasn’t the only sports figure to speak out in response to Wednesday’s verdict, as plenty more took to social media to air out their frustrations and dismay at this gross miscarriage of justice.

“I’ve been lost for words today!” LeBron James tweeted. “I’m devastated, hurt, sad, mad! We want Justice for Breonna yet justice was met for her neighbors’ apartment walls and not her beautiful life.”

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“This is insulting and devastating news regarding Breonna Taylor’s MURDERERS,” soccer star Megan Rapinoe posted on Instagram. “I am at a loss for words, but please [register] to vote, so we can replace every single one of the evil people.”

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“The white supremacist institution of policing that stole Breonna Taylor’s life from us must be abolished for the safety and well being of our people,” Colin Kaepernick tweeted.

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And as time went on, more and more sports figures expressed their sadness and frustration.

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“This is why police need to be defunded and ultimately abolished!” WNBA star Layshia Clarendon tweeted. “We time and time again hope for a sliver of justice but why would we get that when the system is designed to protect the very folks that are murdering and terrorizing us. This isn’t a bad apple, it’s a rotten tree.”

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A rotten tree whose branches have only grown more emboldened and corrupt under the current administration.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for ya'll to stop putting sugar in grits.

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DISCUSSION

It’s mind numbing that the only repercussions for state sanctioned murders of black people are changing pictures on food labels and the occasionally postponed sportsball game.

That being said, thank you to every athlete and team that’s at least done SOMETHING.