Retired NBA veteran Stephen Jackson was a close friend of George Floyd. He’s working to make sure all the officers involved are held accountable.
Being an NBA player doesn’t protect anyone from police violence, racial profiling and racial abuse, a fact that has been, unfortunately, made clear over and over again. George Floyd, who was killed by a Minneapolis police officer this past weekend, wasn’t an NBA player but he was a long-time friend of retired player Stephen Jackson. The two grew up together in Texas.
Since Floyd’s death, Jackson has talked openly about their relationship, spanning more than two decades. He has even shared that he and Floyd referred to each other as “twin” because they look so similar. On Friday, Jackson held a press conference to express his outrage at the killing and the slow, questionable creep of justice which has sparked chaotic protests nationwide.
Stephen Jackson speaks to the media about the killing of his “twin.”
Joining Jackson, among others, were Jamie Foxx, Karl-Anthony Towns and several other members of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Towns’ presence was particularly noteworthy considering his mother passed away from COVID-19 just a few weeks ago. Being here in this moment is a powerful statement of leadership from Towns in his adopted community.
All four officers were fired for their roles in the incident. Derek Chauvin, the officer who can be seen in the video kneeling on Floyd’s neck was arrested Friday but the other three officers have not been charged.
Jackson’s close personal relationship to Floyd adds weight to his statements but he’s not the only NBA player who has been vocal about his grief, rage and frustration at the latest incident in an enduring and repetitive pattern of violence. LeBron James, Bradley Beal, Joe Burrow, Colin Kaepernick, Stephen Curry and Jaylen Brown are among the other star athletes who have also spoken out.