Vanessa Bryant has broken her silence over the death of George Floyd and protests all over the country.
The widowed wife of Kobe Bryant took to social media on Sunday evening, May 31, to share a picture of Kobe wearing a t-shirt that read, “I can’t breathe”. These are the same words spoken by Floyd before his death. Vanessa had also added a caption where she encouraged and asked others to spread love. She wrote, “My husband wore this shirt years ago, and yet here we are again. Life is so fragile. Life is so unpredictable. Life is too short. Let’s share and embrace the beautiful qualities and similarities we all share as people.”
“Drive out hate. Teach respect and love for all at home and school. Spread LOVE. Fight for change- register to VOTE,” she shared. “Do not use innocent lives lost as an excuse to loot. BE AN EXAMPLE OF THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE.❤️”
The late basketball legend had sported the shirt post a game in 2014. While speaking to the LA Times, he had said, “I think it’s us supporting that movement and supporting each other.”
“The beauty of our country lies in its democracy. I think if we ever lose the courage to be able to speak up for the things that we believe in, I think we really lose the value that our country stands for,” he revealed. “It’s important that we have our opinions, it’s important that we stand up for what we believe in. We all don’t have to agree with it, and that’s completely fine, that’s what makes this a beautiful country,” he added.
The words ‘I can’t breathe’ have been on the nation’s lips after a viral video showed a police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of 46-year-old Floyd who repeatedly told him he was unable to breathe. Floyd was heard begging for his life and saying he could not breathe while Chauvin paid no heed. Floyd’s family lawyer shared that Chauvin had knelt on Floyd’s neck for a sickening eight minutes. The shocking video clip was taken on Monday, May 25 and went viral on various social media platforms.
Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. We had earlier reported that Chauvin and Floyd even knew each other and both Chauvin and Floyd worked as security guards for the same Minneapolis club. Former owner of El Nuevo Rodeo Club Maya Santamaria told KTSP Eyewitness News that the two had overlapping shifts.
“Chauvin was our off-duty police for almost the entirety of the 17 years that we were open. They were working together at the same time, it’s just that Chauvin worked outside and the security guards were inside,” Maya shared.
Floyd’s death sparked outrage nationwide with many people standing up to demand justice for Floyd and to shine light on extreme police brutality against African American people. Many celebrities also weighed in and said they do not condone the police brutality and expressed their anger.
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay shared, “You deserved your breath, your dignity, your life. Not to die in the street, murdered by a white cop’s knee on your neck. You deserve our tears, our prayers, our rage, our action. We must act — for you — and for all of those were no cameras are present. We must. #GeorgeFloyd.”
While singer Ciara shared, “My heart can’t take it, seeing what’s happened to #GeorgeFloyd. This is eerily similar to the death of #EricGarner. There has to be a stopping point in the process of arresting someone. It’s all senseless,” she added. The incident has been compared to the 2014 death of Eric Garner who died after being choked by the police.