Derek Jeter ‘Deeply Saddened’ by George Floyd’s Death, Backs Protestors

JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 24: Derek Jeter, CEO of the Miami Marlins speaks with the media at the Miami Marlins spring training complex at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 24, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Mark Brown/Getty Images

Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter released a statement Monday on the team’s official Twitter account regarding the ongoing protests against racial injustice and police violence around the country:

Miami Marlins @Marlins

There have been protests in dozens of U.S. cities over the past several days after George Floyd, an unarmed African American man, died while in police custody after a Minneapolis police officer restrained him by kneeling on his neck. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. 

Though some demonstrations have turned violent, Jeter said it was “encouraging” to see people around the world “speaking out and protesting.”

“Please do not allow anyone to demonize those who are standing up against these acts,” the Baseball Hall of Famer said. 

Jeter defended the right to protest in the past when asked about athletes kneeling during the national anthem in 2017.

“They’re focused so much on the fact that they are kneeling as opposed to what they’re kneeling for,” he said at the time, per Christian Red of the New York Daily News. “Peaceful protests are fine. You have your right to voice your opinion. As long as it’s a peaceful protest, everyone should be fine with that.”

The former New York Yankees star now becomes one of the more prominent voices in baseball to speak on the current social climate.