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Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis takes responsibility for team's questionable tweet after Derek Chauvin guilty verdict

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 4/21/2021 Jim Reineking, USA TODAY
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Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis took responsibility for an "I CAN BREATHE 4-20-21" tweet sent out Tuesday by the team's official Twitter account that drew considerable backlash on social media.  

The tweet was released as sports leagues, teams and athletes reacted to news that a jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd last May. That verdict came in part thanks to a sports universe that united to fight for it. Floyd's death ignited protests for social justice and appeals for police reform. Many athletes took part in those protests.

May 11, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; General view of Oakland Raiders helmet at the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign on the Las Vegas strip on Las Vegas Blvd. © Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports May 11, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; General view of Oakland Raiders helmet at the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign on the Las Vegas strip on Las Vegas Blvd.

The tweet was Davis' idea, according to The Athletic and Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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Davis told The Athletic that he was responsible for the tweet's wording, and said it was inspired by George Floyd's brother Philonise's reaction to Chauvin's guilty verdict.

"Today, we are able to breathe again," Philonise Floyd said Tuesday.

"If I offended the family, then I'm deeply, deeply disappointed," Davis said, per The Athletic.

Davis also told The Athletic that the tweet, which was pinned to the top of the Raiders' Twitter page, would not be deleted.

"I could un-pin it and let it run its course. It's already out there," Davis said of the tweet. "It's not an apology. I'm not embarrassed by what I said, but I did learn something now."

Davis said he also didn't know that the phrase “I can breathe” was used by supporters of police in New York after the death of Eric Garner in 2014 and that he wouldn't have used that phrase if he knew the history.

“It's a tough situation,” he said. “I feel bad it was taken in a way it wasn't meant to be done. That can only be my fault for not explaining it.”

Contributing: The Associated Press. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis takes responsibility for team's questionable tweet after Derek Chauvin guilty verdict

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