Derek Jeter says the time is now for “severe punishment” for racism.
Following other sports icons who have commented in response to the death of George Floyd, Jeter released a statement through the Miami Marlins’ Twitter account that references his future as a father and not his past as a Hall of Fame shortstop for the Yankees or his present as the CEO of the Marlins.
“I am deeply saddened by the death of George Floyd and feel the pain and outrage it has caused his family and people throughout the world,” Jeter said. “This is a narrative that has happened far too often with us as people of color. It is time for racial hatred to end and to be unquestionably recognized and responded to with severe punishment.”
Floyd died in Minnesota after police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into a handcuffed Floyd’s neck for several minutes despite pleas to ease up. Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and fired along with three other officers.
Protests are happening in cities around the country, some of which are peaceful and some of which have escalated to violence and looting.
“It’s encouraging to see people of all colors around the world speaking out and protesting another human tragedy that has too often been the death of a black person,” Jeter said. “No one should be excused from acts of racial hatred. Please do not allow anyone to demonize those who are standing up against these acts.”
Jeter is the son of a black father and a white mother. He has two daughters with his wife, model Hannah Jeter (nee Davis).
“I hope that my children and nephews don’t have to live in a society where people are unjustly treated because of the color of their skin,” he said. “I hope that their white friends grow up to recognize that it is not only enough to verbalize their non-racist views, but also to participate at an active level to eradicate racism.”
Jeter has been quiet on social issues for most of his 24 years in the limelight. Not this time.
“I hope we can all denounce the insidious signs of racial hatred,” Jeter said, “and take action as human beings.”
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