ABC - Sports News

Scott Olson/Getty ImagesBY: KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC NEWS

(NEW YORK) -- The NBA has announced a tentative date to restart the 2019-20 season, but due to social distancing rules and rim removals because of the coronavirus pandemic, many people throughout the U.S. still can't enjoy basketball for themselves.

For Chelse Hall, "Basketball is life." When she had to cancel her season due to the coronavirus pandemic, telling her players was devastating. And she's just one of thousands of coaches around the country forced to end their seasons abruptly, still struggling to find ways to coach without directly interacting with her players.

"It's crazy -- it's like, it's almost unbelievable to realize what's going on, like the entire world is shut down," Hall said. "I know our basketball world is just a tiny piece of it, but it's recreation for kids, so you take away what they love to do."

Hall, who has 10 years of coaching experience, participates with the JR NBA players league, is the director of six teams in Philadelphia and runs leagues that have 25 to 30 teams per season through her "Right Turn Youth Academy." Despite the stress she's felt because of the pandemic, Hall added that it's given her motivation to still experience basketball.

"My motivation for pushing," she said, pointing to her son she coaches, "is this guy, and all the kids I have around me."

She said she's stayed engaged with other coaches to help keep players on top of things.

In addition to organized basketball leagues screeching to a halt, rims at playgrounds throughout the county were removed to help enforce social distancing. In April, it was reported that more than 1 out of every 4 basketball rims in Philadelphia had been removed. Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and New York City were similarly affected -- even famous courts like those at Rucker Park in Harlem, the West Fourth Street Courts in Greenwich Village and the McCarren courts in Brooklyn had rims removed.

"To see these historical places, to see these courts that I grew up on, playing with no rims or bags on top of the rims, is so ... it was unnatural," said Tyson Etienne, a Wichita State basketball player from Englewood, New Jersey. His freshman season was cut short after the NCAA canceled March Madness, and colleges and universities sent students home.

"You feel like things like this can never happen -- you almost always expect basketball to be there, that it can't be taken away," Etienne added. "Through this pandemic, we've seen that it, too, can be taken away. And you know? It really puts things in perspective."

One of his high school coaches, Derek Klein, said he was devastated when he heard he wouldn't be able to continue shooting around and working out with his players.

"The gyms are closed, and now we can't even tell our athletes to go shoot around at the park," Klein said. "So if you have a good home, you're blessed. But if you don't, it's unfortunate.

"The park is where I put in most of my work when I was younger, and I know a bunch of our athletes used to love going to the city parks and putting their work into competing," Klein said.

Klein said he can't wait to see his players all on the same court again.

"I miss the camaraderie, the energy, the high-fives, the culture, everything that we stand for, everything that basketball stands for," he added.

In the meantime, coaches and players will have to continue to chat over Zoom, work out at home and watch old footage of games or practices. For Hall, such adjustments come with prayer.

"Pray for any frustrations that you have. You have to adjust to everything that's happening," Hall said. "The only thing you're promised in life is that there will be change. And right now, this is a major change that we're all going through together."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Sean Gardner/Getty ImagesBy KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC NEWS

(WASHINGTON) -- "NO KNEELING," President Donald Trump asserted on Friday in response to the latest round of NFL controversy.

Trump called out New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees' most recent apology for comments he made on players who take a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality just days after George Floyd died.

"I am a big fan of Drew Brees. I think he’s truly one of the greatest quarterbacks, but he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag," Trump said in his tweet. "OLD GLORY is to be revered, cherished, and flown high ... We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag - NO KNEELING!"

 

...We should be standing up straight and tall, ideally with a salute, or a hand on heart. There are other things you can protest, but not our Great American Flag - NO KNEELING!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2020

 

Brees responded in an Instagram post Friday night directly "To President Trump."

"Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities," Brees wrote Friday. "We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform.

"We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when? We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities," Brees' post continued. "We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us."

 

View this post on Instagram

To @realdonaldtrump Through my ongoing conversations with friends, teammates, and leaders in the black community, I realize this is not an issue about the American flag. It has never been. We can no longer use the flag to turn people away or distract them from the real issues that face our black communities. We did this back in 2017, and regretfully I brought it back with my comments this week. We must stop talking about the flag and shift our attention to the real issues of systemic racial injustice, economic oppression, police brutality, and judicial & prison reform. We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history! If not now, then when? We as a white community need to listen and learn from the pain and suffering of our black communities. We must acknowledge the problems, identify the solutions, and then put this into action. The black community cannot do it alone. This will require all of us.

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on Jun 5, 2020 at 7:10pm PDT

 

Shortly after Trump’s tweet, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell shared a video message on Twitter.

 

We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People. We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter. #InspireChange pic.twitter.com/ENWQP8A0sv

— NFL (@NFL) June 5, 2020


“We, the NFL, condemn racism and the systematic oppression of Black People,” the tweet said. “We, the NFL, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the NFL, believe Black Lives Matter.”

Both messages from Trump and Goodell came on the heels of Brees' Wednesday comments in which he said that he will "never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country."

In the interview with Yahoo Finance, Brees explained that while he understands the racial discrimination players across the league have tried to highlight, he does not support taking a knee during pre-game ceremonies.

After widespread backlash from sports fans and black players, who make up 70% of NFL rosters, Brees issued a written apology followed by a lengthier post and video on Instagram.

"I would like to apologize to my friends, teammates, the City of New Orleans, the black community, NFL community and anyone I hurt with my comments yesterday," Brees wrote Thursday in his first apology, posted alongside a photo of a black and white arm joining hands. "In speaking with some of you, it breaks my heart to know the pain I have caused ... I made comments that were insensitive and completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country."

The 13-time Pro Bowler continued, "Those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character."

In the subsequent apology video, Brees said, "I just want you to see in my eyes how sorry I am for the comments I made yesterday."

"Step-by-step you will see my heart for exactly what it is and the way everyone around me sees it," the caption read. "I’m sorry it has taken this long to act and to participate in a meaningful way but I am your ally in this fight."

 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Aurelien Meunier/Getty ImagesBy GOOD MORNING AMERICA

(NEW YORK) -- Michael Jordan and his signature Jordan Brand will donate $100 million over the next decade to 10 organizations "dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice, and grater access to education," according to a statement released by his spokeswoman, Estee Portnoy.

"Black lives matter," Jordan and his colleagues at Jordan Brand stated, adding, "Until the ingrained racism that allows our country's institutions to fail is completely eradicated, we will remain committed to protecting and improving the lives of Black people."

"We represent a proud family that has overcome obstacles, fought against discrimination in communities worldwide and that works every day to erase the stain of racism and the damage of injustice," the statement read. "It's 2020, and our family now includes anyone who aspires to our way of life. Yet as much as things have changed, the worst remains the same."

Jordan, 57, is notoriously private, but recently opened up about his life and career in the 10-episode docuseries, "The Last Dance," which showcased the Chicago Bulls' road to the 1998 championship.

His daughter, Jasmine Jordan, told "Good Morning America" last month that Jordan Brand is an important part of preserving her father's legacy.

"It educates the younger generation as we continue to produce products, footwear, apparel, whatever it is for the younger generation," Jasmine Jordan said. "It's definitely an exciting aspect that we get to do and carry on, but as individuals we're able to put our own spin on and keep it authentic so the next generation can ride the wave that we've been able to be a part of."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



cmannphoto/iStockBy ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- The NBA will tentatively resume its season on July 31 entirely in Orlando, Florida, the league announced Thursday.

In a competitive format approved by the NBA Board of Governors, there will be 22 teams (out of 30) playing eight regular season games. The NBA Finals would end no later than Oct. 12, the league said.

The board's approval is the first step in resuming the season, the league said. The NBA is also working to finalize a plan with the National Basketball Players Association, as well as an agreement with The Walt Disney Company to use Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, as a single site for all games, practices and housing for the rest of the season.

The NBA said it is developing a program with public health and infectious disease experts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among players, including testing and safety protocols. According to ESPN, that includes daily testing for the coronavirus.

The league is preparing to play without fans in attendance, ESPN reported.

Select teams were able to open their practice facilities for workouts on May 8 at the earliest following strict safety protocols. Since then, a majority of teams have done so, according to NBA.com.

The NBA suspended its season in March after a player on the Utah Jazz preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Scott Clarke / ESPN ImagesBy JACQUELINE LAUREAN YATES

(DEL RAY, Fla.) -- Tennis star Coco Gauff pointed back at her grandmother while delivering a speech at a Black Lives Matter rally in Del Ray, Florida.

"I think it's sad that I'm here protesting the same thing that she did 50-plus years ago," Gauff said.

At the rally, Gauff spoke about racial injustice and how people can use their voices to create change.

"I'm here to tell you guys that we must first love each other no matter what," she said. "We must have the tough conversations with our friends. I've been spending all week having tough conversations, trying to educate my non-black friends on how they can help the movement."

"Second, we need to take action. Yes, we are all here protesting and I'm not of age to vote, but it is in your hands to vote for my future, for my brother's future, and for your future. So, that's one way to make change," she added.

Gauff wowed the world in 2019 when she became the youngest player to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon, and she also made headlines for defeating Venus Williams in the first round of the 2020 Australian Open.

"This is not just about George Floyd. This is about Trayvon Martin. This is about Eric Garner. This is about Breonna Taylor. This is about stuff that's been happening. I was eight years old when Trayvon Martin was killed. So why am I here at 16 still demanding change? And it breaks my heart because I'm fighting for the future of my brothers. I'm fighting for the future of my future kids. I'm fighting for the future of my future grandchildren. So, we must change now," she said.

Since posting her speech on Twitter, her video has been viewed over 120,000 times and has received over 7,000 likes.

Belgian professional tennis player, Kim Clijsters commented on Gauff's post with, "Thank you for being a girl that my daughter will learn from and look up to. I promise that we will keep on teaching our kids the right thing to do so that they can pass it on too. It all starts at home"

Gauff has also spoken out on other social media platforms such as Instagram.

"When will it stop?" she captioned a photo including black men that have lost their lives at the hands of racial injustices. "When will we be seen as human and not a threat? Rest in Peace to all of the beautiful souls whose lives were ended short due to racism. All lives will not matter until society proves they actually care about black lives."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Lorenzo Bevilaqua / ESPN ImagesBy HAYLEY FITZPATRICK, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Shaquille O'Neal is sharing his thoughts on the protests and police brutality in the United States in the wake of George Floyd's death.

During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday, the Hall of Famer said he was "disgusted" when he saw the video of Floyd's death.

"I think you have your knee on the man's neck for more than five minutes -- it just didn't make any sense," he said. "Police officers ... you know better, you have to know better in certain situations."

O'Neal comes from a family of police officers and was even sworn in as a auxiliary deputy with the Broward County Sheriff's Office in Florida last year.

He said, however, he has to talk to his sons, Shareef, 20, and Shaqir, 17, about how to interact with the police "all the time."

"I told them, 'First of all, you have to try to diffuse the situation by showing respect because you have to understand that these people are also out here to do all their jobs. So you try to diffuse the situation. And if it happens to get rough, don't say anything, don't do anything, just comply,'" he explained.

He went on, "And then when all is said and done, you call me, and if stuff gets out of hand, then I will handle it. I will be the one to come around and act crazy. I don’t want you to act crazy while you’re out there by yourself. So I just try to tell them, just comply, just listen, but a lot of times that doesn’t work either."

He said that he also tells them to "just show respect."

.@Shaq on George Floyd, Trump, discrimination, law enforcement, and his family... pic.twitter.com/f0GoY8OHjF

— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) June 3, 2020

Former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, who was seen kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes as Floyd repeatedly declared that he couldn't breathe, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on May 29. He received an additional charge of second-degree murder on Wednesday.

The three other officers involved in Floyd's arrest, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao, were each charged Wednesday with second-degree aiding and abetting felony murder and second-degree aiding and abetting manslaughter, according to court documents.

"There's an old saying that what's right is right, what's wrong is wrong. What happened to George Floyd was all the way wrong, absolutely wrong, uncalled for," O'Neal said. "I've never seen that technique taught. A lot of police officers I've talked to would never do that. Everybody's upset, everybody's tired. We demand justice."

The basketball legend also weighed in on the protests across the nation.

"I'm 48 years old and I've seen, you know, outbreaks and riots before," he said. "This is the first time I think the country is doing it all at the same time. I've never seen it in more than one city."

He continued, "They want equality. They want justice. And I understand. I'm all for peaceful protesting. I don't like the opportunists that are riding around the neighborhoods leaving bricks trying to cause riots. I don't like people breaking into stores. I don't condone all that, but I am for peaceful protesting and I am for justice."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Allen Kee / ESPN ImagesBy HAYLEY FITZPATRICK, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Dak Prescott announced a $1 million commitment to addressing systematic racism and police training in the United States on Wednesday.

The Dallas Cowboys quarterback released a four-part statement on his Instagram, sharing his thoughts on the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

"As a black, multiracial American, I am disgusted and unsettled! I am as optimistic as they come! I try to understand and find the positive in every situation or aspect of my life," he said.

"My mom left me the word FAITH to live out for a reason. I believe in the good in each individual and this country as a whole! To be humble and to see every man and woman as the same takes humility and accountability," he continued.

He said he's supporting the protesters standing against racial injustice in the U.S. and views the demonstrations "as a form of strength and an attempt to show we as Black people have rights that aren’t being perceived equally as our counterparts."

The NFL player condemned violence and looting, which have overtaken many peaceful protests across the nation.

He stated, however, that he believes cops are "as guilty as the men who stood by Derek Chauvin," the since-fired police officer who pinned Floyd to the ground, if they do not take a firm stance against the racism that pervades the country.

"I have the utmost respect for those of you with a passion for protecting and serving your communities," he said in a message to officers. "When you choose to wear the badge of a police officer, you pledged to PROTECT life and property through the enforcement of our laws and regulations. How can you claim to uphold the law when those within your own ranks don’t abide by it? You need to hold your own accountable!"

"As long as cops continue to profile blacks as a threat, cops will continue to be perceived as untrustworthy," he added. "You have to change yourself before you can ask anyone else to change!"

Prescott also shared that while coping with the recent death of his brother, Jace Prescott, who died in April, he realized "we are not given a voice to pronounce how much we matter."

"It is our obligation to tell our neighbor how much they matter to us and to take a stand for the greater good of each other," he said.

Prescott said he will "take action" and "act alongside" those protesting against racism. He said the funds he's donating to various organizations will "address systematic racism through education and advocacy."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty ImagesBy DEENA ZARU, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Protests against the deaths of unarmed black men and women at the hands of law enforcement have often revived conversations surrounding Colin Kaepernick, but the killing last week of George Floyd has brought Kaepernick back into the debate in a stark way.

The images of a police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck as the Minnesota man called out that he can't breathe have sparked advocates, athletes and celebrities to draw a direct visual parallel to Kaepernick's kneeling protest against police brutality, with side-by-side photos going viral on social media.

LeBron James was among those to share the parallel images on Instagram, topped with the words, "This … is why."

"Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it still blurred to you??" the Los Angeles Lakers star wrote in the caption. Printouts of that same image have also been held up during protests around the country.

Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, became the first NFL player to take a knee on the football field during the playing of the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality.

"It's this sort of eerie similarity in the position that Kaepernick physically took, and the position that the officer had assumed on the neck and the head of George Floyd," Marc Lamont Hill, an activist and professor of media studies and urban education at Temple University, told ABC News.

"It was almost like the flip side of it, that Kaepernick was taking a knee for justice and this man was taking a knee in ending the life of a black man in the very fashion that Colin Kaepernick was protesting and trying to put a spotlight on," he said.

Amid the unrest, even some police officers and top brass have taken a knee in the streets alongside protesters in solidarity against the killings of unarmed black people.

Floyd was apprehended by police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last Monday. According to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office, Floyd's death was a homicide caused by "a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s)."

An independent autopsy ordered by George Floyd's family found his death was a "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to early findings from the examination released Monday.

Derek Chauvin, who was fired from the Minneapolis Police following the incident, has been charged with third-degree murder in connection with Floyd's death. Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, including about three minutes while Floyd was unresponsive, according to court documents.

Three other officers who were on the scene -- Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao -- have not been charged but an investigation is still ongoing, according to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.

"You can't stop thinking about that," said sports journalist and ABC News contributor Christine Brennan. "The side-by-side visuals are everything, and because we are such a visual society, because photos and video matters so much to us ... that then brings Colin Kaepernick back into the conversation in a big way. If people had forgotten him or pushed him out of their memory, [Kaepernick] has come flooding back because of the visual, and then because he was right."

Kaepernick, who hasn't played in the NFL since 2016, sparked a movement after first taking a knee on the field in August 2016, with several other athletes following his example -- the first of which was then-teammate Eric Reid. It is widely viewed that Kaepernick was blacklisted from the NFL due to his on-field protest.

Over the past couple of seasons, on-field protests have waned, but Reid -- along with players Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson -- has continued to take a knee.

Brennan said we "don't know" whether this wave of protests will have an impact on the football field this coming season, but she is "stunned" the NFL has not signed Kaepernick.

"One would think that a team would want to sign him if only for the symbolism of the message that would be set, especially to young people," she said.

Kaepernick filed a grievance against league owners in 2017 alleging that they colluded to ensure that he remained unsigned. The lawsuit has been settled.

The NFL on Saturday released a statement from commissioner Roger Goodell, who offered condolences to the family of George Floyd and said that the league was "greatly saddened by the tragic events" amid nationwide protests.

"The protesters' reactions to these incidents reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel," Goodell wrote, adding that the protests "underscore" that "there remains much more to do as a country and as a league."

Hill noted that the statement "didn't offer any criticism, any outrage" and did not mention "the killing of anybody" or words like "racism" or "police violence."

Reid, who is now a free agent, and Stills both criticized the statement, with Reid appearing to mock the NFL's social change initiative, which was launched in January 2019 amid mounting backlash over Kaepernick's absence.

Through the initiative, the NFL partnered with the Players Coalition and other organizations, including Jay-Z's Roc Nation, on social justice campaigns.

But with Kaepernick still unsigned, those efforts have been viewed as an effort to save face by activists and players who have continued to take a knee.

Hill said the NFL's statement during the protests is in "sharp contrast" to how Kaepernick has been treated.

"He became persona non grata in the NFL. He was treated as an enemy of the state, and I mean that quite literally when you look at the response of Donald Trump to him," Hill said. "Donald Trump had more words of outrage for Kaepernick than he did for the killer, the killer of George Floyd."

Asked about the criticism, a spokesperson for the NFL told ABC News on Tuesday that league is "in daily contact with our national social justice partners to listen, understand and generate new ideas of how we can help use the platform of the NFL to help improve relations with law enforcement. We are working closely with the clubs and players to provide more grants and programs that can be adapted in local communities."

"Our clubs and players have worked extensively to provide training sessions, community gatherings and ride-alongs with players and local police departments, as well as team-facilitated volunteer programs that involve police officers and underserved youth," the spokesperson added. "We are committed to working with players, clubs and partners to make positive change in our communities."

Kaepernick, who founded his own social justice organization, has spoken out in support of activists and started a legal defense fund to provide legal representation to those protesting in Minneapolis.

President Donald Trump, who has been silent on Kaepernick and the NFL's handling of the protests for more than a year, clearly took a side in this divisive debate by repeatedly lambasting players who took a knee in a years-long feud with the NFL.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Alexander Tamargo/WireImageBy CANDICE WILLIAMS

(NEW YORK) -- Michael Jordan's daughter, Jasmine, is opening up about her famous father's "rambunctious" side that many fans never get to see.

In a recent interview with ABC Audio, the 27-year-old said that for those hoping to catch her father on social media, don't hold your breath.

"My father is so -- not anti-social media, but anti-social media," she shared with a laugh. "I can never imagine him being on Twitter. I can't imagine him on IG or anything like that."

While social media may not be the way for fans see Michael Jordan let loose, Jordan promised he does have an outlet where he opens up.

"When you get him in his natural element of just being that fun and rambunctious dad, it's with music," she revealed. "He loves music."

"And it can be rap," she continued. "It can be R&B. It can be hip-hop, whatever. He has no limit on the boundaries and categories of music that he listens to. That's really when you get to see that fun side of him."

So, what does Michael Jordan actually listen to? According to Jordan, it ranges from Future to "throwing it back" with Anita Baker.

"There's just a plethora of options," she said.

Jordan said her father is also big on getting music before it officially hits the masses.

"I remember when I was younger, he used to always get everyone CDs before they came out," she said. "I never understood why. Like, why are you listening to Johnny Gill's album before anybody has it? It was mind-boggling."

Of course, now it all makes sense.

"Music is just another aspect that truly allows him to be himself and connect and really just have fun and let his hair down. Or lack thereof," she quipped. "But we love music together."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Brett Carlsen/Getty ImagesBy NICOLE PELLETIERE, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- An NFL player took to over the weekend to share his run-in with an elderly white woman as the death of George Floyd sparks outrage and protests across the nation.

Zay Jones, a wide receiver for the Las Vegas Raiders, described his heartfelt encounter Monday on Good Morning America.

Jones said the woman approached him and his cousin at a Home Goods discount store in Henderson, Nevada, and said, "I'm from Minneapolis [and] I just want you to know that you matter."

"I could see [it] was very sincere and heartfelt," Jones told GMA, adding that he asked permission to hug the woman. "I just felt like that was the right thing to do. And in an instant, she just kind of fell into my arms and she just started crying."

i was just at a local home goods store w/ my cousin getting furniture for my place when an elderly white woman approached me at the check out counter. she looked at me w/ tears in her eyes... & then said “i’m from Minneapolis & I just want you to know “you matter to me.”

— zay (@zayjones11) May 30, 2020

Floyd, a black man, died on Memorial Day after he was pinned down by former white Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin.

Following his death, protests in Minnesota have spread to more than 20 states. Some have resulted in arrests, vandalism and destruction of property. Many cities have issued curfews in response.

Floyd's death has also ignited conversations on racism, with people like Jones using social media as a platform to voice experiences and moments of solidarity.

Jones' tweet about his apparent exchange with a white woman at the store checkout counter garnered over 89,000 retweets and 812,000 shares.

He told GMA he posted the story to spread love during this difficult time.

"Beautiful people still exist in this world," Jones said. "We just got to love each other. We got to lean on each other. We got to listen to each other."

Jones said he didn't get the woman's name, but wants to thank her for giving him "peace."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



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