It started as a slow drip entering the weekend, but by Tuesday, June 2, each and every one of the ten professional sports teams located in Southern California released public statements in response to the death of George Floyd while in police custody.
All of the statements took a stand against racism, and some directly mentioned the protests that spread throughout the country and the world in the aftermath of Floyd's death.
NBC LA decided to aggregate all ten of the statements in one place for our readers to see them and look at them. Some statements were ineffectively short, others were longer and more detailed. Some called for radical change in this country and to the injustices that have been occurring in it for decades.
The Los Angeles Sparks, the lone WNBA franchise in Southern California was the first to release a statement on Friday, May 29. Of the ten organizations, the Sparks' statement was the only one to mention the names of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breanna Taylor. It was powerful, detailed, and specific.
LA's newest franchise, the MLS club LAFC was the second to release a public statement on Saturday, May 30. Although they did not specifically mention police brutality, they announced that they stood firmly in solidarity with the black community.
Following the public statement of their new crosstown rival, the five-time MLS Cup Champion LA Galaxy were the next to release a statement about six hours after LAFC. It was just three words: "Together Against Racism." Needless to say, it received plenty of criticism from the team's loyal fan base for it's lack of detail, especially following the statement of LAFC.
The Los Angeles Lakers were the first NBA franchise in Southern California to issue a statement, but star player LeBron James has been vocal from the start about the death of George Floyd and so many others at the hands of police that came before him. James' continues to use his platform to speak out against police brutality, social injustice, and the peaceful protests that are taking place across the globe.
Following their Staples Center co-tenants, the Clippers released a statement on Sunday morning, written by head coach Doc Rivers. It not only was the longest and most detailed of all the statements, it struck a personal tone with Rivers discussing his own personal experiences with racism. Rivers statement is the only one to mention police brutality, and he mentions his father was a 30-year veteran of the Chicago police department. Rivers issued a call to action, writing that November is the time to vote, allowing our voices and ballots to carry the necessary weight they possess.
The LA Kings were the first NHL franchise in Southern California to release a statement, and they struck a strong chord at the end with the following: "Enough Racism. Enough Senseless Violence. ENOUGH."
The Los Angeles Rams became the first NFL franchise in the Southland to release a statement and they were strong in their support and solidarity with the peaceful protests and the black community. They were one of the only organizations in LA to specifically mention systemic discrimination in their statement, and called for the need for reform, opportunity, and meaningful change throughout the country.
The Anaheim Ducks posted a photo saying "Together, We Stand Against Racism," and added a caption stating they support the fight against racism and hatred along with peaceful protests, but they added a caveat of urging the protestors to do so in a "non-violent manner." They were the only one of the ten organizations to do so.
After repeated messages from their fans urging the team to release a statement, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally did so on Monday afternoon. The organization that broke the color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson in 1947, made sure to mention that fact in their statement. Announcing they "Stand with all Americans who will no longer tolerate racism and social injustice in our society." They concluded with a quote from Robinson himself. On Wednesday night, the Dodgers sent a strong message when they turned the lights on at Dodger Stadium for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in a silent tribute to George Floyd.
The following day, the Los Angeles Angels, located in Anaheim, wrote a statement condemning racism, social injustice, and violence. They ended the statement with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.
Finally, proving that sometimes it's better to wait and make an appropriate statement, than rush out an inadequate one, the Los Angeles Chargers were the last team to release a statement on Tuesday June 2.
The Chargers were criticized by their fans on social media over the weekend for their silence, but their statement was arguably the best of all the team's and definitely had the most production value.
First, the Chargers released two quotes by African American head coach Anthony Lynn.
Following those two powerful quotes, the Chargers released an emotional and compelling video featuring the immortal poem of Langston Hughes, "I, Too.
In the video, Hughes poem is recited as images of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rodney King, and peaceful protestors flash across the screen. The video concludes with the Chargers players and head coach Anthony Lynn finishing the poem, "I, too, am American."