LeBron James Aghast at Las Vegas Raiders 'I Can Breathe' Remark: 'The F***'

LeBron James has condemned the Las Vegas Raiders for a tweet they posted after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd.

Shortly after the verdict was read out, the NFL franchise tweeted an image showing bold white type against a black background reading "I CAN BREATHE 4-20-21" above the team's logo.

Floyd died on May 25 last year after being apprehended on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill. His arrest was filmed by a bystander, whose video showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes, while two other officers pinned him down.

In the video, Floyd could be heard saying "I can't breathe" several times. Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Tuesday.

The Raiders' tweet drew widespread criticism and James joined the chorus on Tuesday night.

"This is real???? Nah man this ain't it at all. The f**k!" the four-time NBA champion tweeted.

This is real???? Nah man this ain’t it at all. The F^%K!!!! 🤦🏾‍♂️ https://t.co/f44D7OQWfo

— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 21, 2021

The Raiders' post was markedly different from those tweeted by fellow NFL franchises, which adopted a more sombre tone.

"Today's verdict is one step toward accountability and justice," the New England Patriots posted.

"We recognise that there is still a lot of work to be done and we are committed to being a part of that progress."


— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 21, 2021

The Los Angeles Rams wrote: "The Los Angeles Rams send our deepest condolences to George Floyd's family. Today's verdict is accountability, not justice. The fight continues for social justice."

The Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets struck a similar tone.

We stand together with the Black community and although today’s verdict was one step forward, there’s still work to be done and many more steps to take. pic.twitter.com/SYEXt9oBjK

— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) April 21, 2021

"We stand together with the Black community and although today's verdict was one step forward, there's still work to be done and many more steps to take," the Seahawks tweeted.

The Jets posted: "Today's verdict will not bring back a life, but we hope that it helps Mr. Floyd's family find a measure of peace. This decision is a step towards addressing the challenges that continue to exist.

"It is important for everyone to remain focused on injustices in our society that do not have the attention this case garnered. We are committed to continuing our work and encourage all to remain steadfast towards improving our communities for all people."

Raiders owner Mark Davis defended the post, however, saying it had been his idea.

"I felt that was a powerful statement," Davis told ESPN. "Today was a day where I can breathe, and we can all breathe again because justice was served. But we have a lot of work to do still on social justice and police brutality."

Speaking to The Athletic, he said the post was intended to echo words from Floyd's brother Philonise Floyd, who said the family was "able to breathe again" after Chauvin's conviction.

However, Davis acknowledged he was unaware that the phrase "I can breathe" was used by supporters of the New York Police Department to mock people protesting the death in custody of Eric Garner.

Garner also repeatedly pleaded "I can't breathe" as he was restrained by police officers on July 17, 2014. He was pronounced dead an hour later.

"If I offended the family, then I'm deeply, deeply disappointed," Davis said. "I could un-pin it and let it run its course. It's already out there [...] It's not an apology. I'm not embarrassed by what I said, but I did learn something now."

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers on the bench during their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on April 13 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images