Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre on Wednesday said he finds it “hard to believe” that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin intended to kill George Floyd during Floyd’s arrest last year.
“I find it hard to believe, and I’m not defending Derek Chauvin in any way, I find it hard to believe, first of all, that he intentionally meant to kill George Floyd,” Favre said on his podcast Bolling with Favre.
“That being said, his actions were uncalled for,” the 20-year NFL veteran added. “I don’t care what color the person is on the street. I don’t know what led to that video that we saw where his knee is on his neck, but the man had thrown in the towel.”
Favre’s comments came one day after a jury convicted Chauvin of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
In video of the arrest, Chauvin is seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes, even after Floyd lost consciousness.
The football legend waded into the heated discourse around Floyd’s death just one week after saying he wanted politics out of sports. He said last week that he believed the involvement of politics in athletics has hurt games and that he agrees with those who have decided to stop watching sports.
On Wednesday, Favre defended his comments about politics and sports after receiving backlash, saying: “I just gave my opinion. I’m certainly not a racist in spite of what some people might think, and you know, I’m for unity and I just feel like there’s a better way to unify our country.”
“That being said, there’s a lot of things that need to stop.” Favre said.
Meanwhile, the NFL expressed support for the verdict in the Chauvin trial in a statement on Tuesday.
“Today’s outcome in the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis does not undo the loss of life,” the statement read. “Mr. George Floyd should be here with us today. Our hearts remain with the Floyd Family, and we understand the pain, anger and frustration does not go away even when justice is delivered.”