No, they did not “stick to sports.”
Social and political movements have always been embedded into the fabric of sports and Hamilton’s teams made their views loud and clear Tuesday (Apr. 21).
The Tiger-Cats, Forge FC, and the Honey Badgers used social media to react after former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and manslaughter for pinning George Floyd to the pavement with his knee on the Black man’s neck in a case that sparked worldwide protests, violence, and an unprecedented reexamination of racism and policing.
The Ticats retweeted the Canadian Football League (CFL).
“On this day, when an historic verdict has been handed down in the murder of George Floyd, we at the Canadian Football League condemn racism in all of its forms,” reads the CFL statement..
“The experience of many of our players and coaches, as well as staff, whether they live in the US or Canada, show it is not restrictive to any one jurisdiction or any one country. We all have a role to play in the movement for fairness, justice and equality.”
— Hamilton Tiger-Cats (@Ticats) April 21, 2021
The Hamilton Honey Badgers, meanwhile, retweeted a statement from the Canadian Elite Basketball League. (CEBL)
“Accountability matters,” it reads. “May today’s verdict in the George Floyd murder trial be a clarion call that hate and racism have no place in our world.”
“Today is not a conclusion but a step forward in the name of equality and justice for all,” it continued.
“Racism is Not #OurGame.”
Accountability matters. May today’s verdict in the George Floyd murder trial be a clarion call that hate and racism have no place in our world.
Today is not a conclusion but a step forward in the name of equality and justice for all.
— CEBL (@CEBLeague) April 21, 2021
While Hamilton’s pro soccer club shared an official statement from the Canadian Premier League (CPL).
“Today is a reminder of how much more work needs to be done,” it states. “Using our voice to support the Black community in advocating for anti-racism, the CPL, its clubs and our players are deeply committed to continue to take action to work towards sustainable change.”
“We are focused on making a powerful impact on our community, helping to bring positive change and using our platform and our voice to support racial equality,” the statement concludes.
— Forge FC (@ForgeFCHamilton) April 21, 2021
Reaction from the four major sports leagues and their respective club teams echoes that of the CFL, CPL, and CEBL.
Derek Chauvin, 45, could be sent to prison for decades.
His bail was immediately revoked.
Three other former Minneapolis officers charged with aiding and abetting murder in Floyd’s death will stand trial in August.
–with files from The Canadian Press