Sports world reacts to acquittal
Athletes throughout the sports world took to Twitter on Saturday night to express their feelings on the verdict reached in the Trayvon Martin case.
Jurors found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of the 17-year-old Martin. The six-member, all-women jury deliberated for more than 15 hours over two days before reaching its decision.
Martin was killed on Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, Fla., as he was returning to a gated community, carrying candy and iced tea.
Prosecutors accused Zimmerman, a neighborhood crime-watch volunteer, of profiling Martin as a criminal and following him with a loaded gun, triggering the fatal confrontation. Zimmerman maintained that he shot Martin in self-defense after he was knocked to the ground and Martin was banging his head against the pavement.
Zimmerman faced the possibility of life in prison.
The case had grasped parts of the sports world. In March 2012, a photo showed members of the Miami Heat wearing hooded sweatshirts, their heads bowed and their hands stuffed into their pockets, in a tribute to Martin. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called it "a powerful move" and among the hashtags Miami star LeBron James attached to the picture was "WeWantJustice."
More athlete reaction followed Saturday night via Twitter. Among the most controversial tweets came from New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who wrote "Zimmerman doesn't last a year til the hood catches up to him." The tweet was later deleted. He apologized for the tweet on Sunday and wrote his "prayers continue to go out to Trayvon Martin's family."
All them jurors should go home tonight and kill themselves for letting a grown man get away with killing a kid— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) July 14, 2013
He, however, apologized for the violent nature of his message in a follow-up tweet on Sunday.
I understand my tweet last nite was extreme. I never meant for the people to do that. I was shocked and upset about the verdict. I am sorry.— Roddy White (@roddywhiteTV) July 14, 2013
The following are some additional tweets from athletes ranging from shock at the verdict to disappointment in the legal system:
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade:
Wow!!! Stunned!!! Saddened as a father!!! Some1 make sense of this verdict for me right now please!!! Don't worry I'll wait...— THREE (@DwyaneWade) July 14, 2013
Shaquille O'Neal, who played for the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat:
George Zimmerman not guilty can u believe that. Wow— SHAQ (@SHAQ) July 14, 2013
Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul:
WoW!!! Prayers out to the Martin family...— Chris Paul (@CP3) July 14, 2013
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry:
Watched a lot of the case...though manslaughter was a definite! Thinking about everyone involved especially the Martin family— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) July 14, 2013
Chicago Bulls center Nazr Mohammed:
Dont know what the appropriate punishment is but this sets an ugly precedence. Gotta feeling were gonna see more cases like this. #profiling— Nazr Mohammed (@NazrMohammed) July 14, 2013
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker James Harrison:
Think I'll go pick a fight and get my ass kicked then pull my gun and kill somebody and see if I can get away... http://t.co/aegjF7feYI— James Harrison (@jharrison9292) July 14, 2013
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson:
Living in a world where you fight dogs; you could lose everything (Mike Vick).. If you kill a black man you're not guilty! #INjusticeSystem— STVN (@StevieJohnson13) July 14, 2013
Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins:
America justice system is a joke.— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) July 14, 2013
Los Angeles Clippers forward Jared Dudley:
Between Casey Anthony and Zimmerman the state of Florida is looking real bad!— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) July 14, 2013
Former Miami football player and New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma:
I get if you're mad about the verdict. I don't get going out and looting/rioting 5min from where you live. Be constructive not destructive— Jonathan Vilma (@JonVilma51) July 14, 2013
Former FSU football player and Arizona Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett:
Are people going to remove their blackouts now? Or keep supporting? It's other kids out here at risk.— DARNELL DOCKETT (@ddockett) July 14, 2013
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith:
Also as mad as a lot of people are over the verdict...trying to take out Zimmerman isn't the answer neither— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) July 14, 2013
Former Sacramento Kings center Sean May:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers:
I hope everyone can see the BIGGER picture if this trial ... his story was heard, his voice was heard RIP Trayvon Benjamin Martin— Da'Quan Bowers (@DaQuanBowers91) July 14, 2013
Miami Marlins left fielder Bryan Petersen:
If you trusted the justice system to find a man guilty, you must trust it when it finds a man not guilty, or it's just partiality you seek— Bryan Petersen (@Peteypipes) July 14, 2013
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson:
My Heart goes out to the Martin Family! Keep the Faith! #God is in control, He's the one and only Judge! ��— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) July 14, 2013
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick:
I feel so bad for the Martin fam. We have a long way to go in America but please yall don't do anything stupid. Let God be the final judge— Mike Vick (@MikeVick) July 14, 2013
Information from ABC News and The Associated Press was used in this report.