Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said Friday night that the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd was “indefensible” and that he had spent the week communicating with his players and their families about the incident.
Floyd, a black man, died in police custody on Monday after a white police officer had his knee on Floyd’s neck for approximately eight minutes. On Friday, former officer Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter by the Hennepin County District Attorney.
“I felt it was appropriate to communicate fully with our team, staff, parents and recruits before commenting publicly on the tragic loss of George Floyd,” Fleck said in his statement. “This week has been extremely difficult for our community and state, as we mourn the unnecessary loss of Mr. Floyd. His death was indefensible and I stand with the community in asking for accountability and justice.”
“We have had several team meetings and a player parent meeting about Monday’s tragedy, and I will continue to listen to, support and empathize with our student-athletes. My thoughts are with Mr. Floyd’s family and loved ones.”
Not long after Fleck’s statement, men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino tweeted about Floyd.
Minnesota is special. I can’t put my finger on it but it just is. It’s home. This week has been so hard. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Floyd family. Absolutely sickening. Let’s pull together MINNESOTA and show just how special we truly are. #RIPGeorgeFloyd
— Richard Pitino (@CoachPitinoMN) May 30, 2020
Several athletes have spoken out about Floyd’s death over the past week as protests have been staged in the city of Minneapolis and in other cities across the country. Floyd’s death was captured on video by a bystander after police responded to a call regarding the alleged use of a counterfeit bill.
Thursday, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Floyd’s death was “outrageous.
Minnesota cut game day ties with Minneapolis PD
The University of Minnesota moved swiftly to end its agreement with the Minneapolis Police Department for football home games and other university events. University president Joan Gabel said Wednesday night that the school would be terminating its contract with the department for extra personnel for large events and other specialized services.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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