A sampling of reaction from around the sports world to George Floyd’s death and protests demanding justice and reform:


Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle, in a statement: “I have spent the last week listening to our student-athletes and staff. They are hurting over the indefensible killing of Mr. Floyd. They are also committed to enacting change, and many of them have participated in the numerous peaceful protests and community and charitable efforts in the Twin Cities. I applaud them for using their voice and actions in a positive way.”

Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie, in a Star Tribune interview: “I hear our cries and it’s just hard because as I don’t condone violence, at the same time, you can’t push people to the wall and expect them not to fight back. I think that’s just a display of what we’re seeing right now.”

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, in a statement: “We cannot continue to ignore racism as if it has ended, or never happened. The continual violence inflicted upon blacks and people of color must stop. We need a change now. We need love. We need compassion. We need grace and forgiveness even in the midst of the pain. We need true leadership. We need justice. We need equality.”

• Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young at a protest in Oklahoma: “I know this country’s in a messed up place right now. And for me, I just think it’s important that we all stick together and we stand up for what’s right. It’s not just going to take just me. It’s not just going to take just you. It’s all of us coming together and doing this as a collective unit.”

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, on Twitter: “George Floyd should be breathing right now. We have a lot of progress to make. A lot. Remember his name. Remember what happened.”

Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, on Instagram: “It’s unbearable to even think about what’s happening in our city and throughout the country, but things have to CHANGE. African Americans have been slaughtered left and right for nothing more than the color of our skin. That is reality and it has been ignored far too long. DEMAND PROGRESS — DEMAND JUSTICE for George Floyd.”

Islanders forward Anders Lee, a former Edina High School star, on Twitter: “I will never fully understand because of the color of my skin, but I have an opportunity to make a difference. I stand for anti-racism. I stand for the rights of black people in America, so we can all be equal. I stand alongside the black community through this difficult time and in the future. I stand for the justice of George Floyd and the countless others who have been killed by racism. Black Lives Matter.”

The NHL, in a statement: “As protests in both the United States and Canada in recent days have focused attention upon racial injustice for the Black community, the NHL stands with all those who are working to achieve a racially just society, and against all those who perpetuate and uphold racism, hatred, bigotry and violence.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, to thenation.com: “The thing that strikes me is that we all see this police violence and racism, and we’ve seen it all before, but nothing changes. That’s why these protests have been so explosive. But without leadership and an understanding of what the problem is, there will never be change. And white Americans have avoided reckoning with this problem forever, because it’s been our privilege to be able to avoid it. That also has to change.”

Gophers receiver Rashod Bateman, on Twitter, along with a team photo: “No matter what happens, I will continue to LOVE all kind because I have witnessed how beautiful it is when it all clicks. Moving forward, all of my brothers and sisters in this photo will FIGHT for each other and everyone else who wants to better themselves and others.”