In the aftermath of the jury’s decision to find George Zimmerman not guilty of murder or manslaughter charges in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, several NFL players took to Twitter to share their reactions.
Falcons wide receiver Roddy White had one of the most notable responses. He sent out a tweet asking “what kind of world” we live in and recommended that the jurors in the case “go home and kill themselves.” White’s words, like Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz’s prediction that Zimmerman won’t last a year before “the hood catches up with him,” were construed by many as inflammatory at a moment when there was a fear that the verdict would lead to unrest.
They were also emotional responses to an event that has had a significant place in American culture since the fateful night when Zimmerman shot Martin. White touched on that when he made an apology Sunday for his suggestion to the jurors.
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
There’s a lesson here about making public statements while still emotionally riled up, even if you can understand and/or empathize with the anger of the person making it. Inviting other people to kill themselves for fulfilling a civic obligation because you don’t agree with their decision is a bad road to go down and the light of day seems to have reminded White of that fact.