The Las Vegas Raiders sent out a bizarre tweet Tuesday that prompted a furious uproar online after the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.

The tweet showed a black and white graphic that read “I can breathe” above Tuesday’s date.

Hours earlier, a jury found the white former policeman guilty of two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter. Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes on May 25, 2020, even as the Black man repeatedly said “I can’t breathe.”

— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) April 20, 2021

The tweet was pinned at the top of the NFL team’s account even after scores of commenters called on the team to delete the message. In just over an hour, the graphic was retweeted more than 40,000 times. Critics sharing the message called it out for being in poor taste, noting that accountability for Floyd’s murder does not bring him back or serve justice for hundreds of other Black people killed by police.

Media representatives of the Raiders did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on its decisions to post the tweet and leave it up.

Some likened it to widely panned comments from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) earlier Tuesday. Speaking to reporters, Pelosi thanked Floyd for “sacrificing your life for justice.” Critics pointed out that Floyd had no say in that sacrifice and did not consent to become a symbol for the racial justice movement that his death crystalized.

Nearly two hours after the initial Raiders tweet was sent, Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney tweeted that he had spoken with Raiders owner Mark Davis, whom he said took responsibility for the tweet.

Davis told another Las Vegas sport reporter, Tashan Reed, that the post won’t be deleted and he was disappointed if it caused offense.

#Raiders owner Mark Davis said the "I Can Breathe" wording came from George Floyd's brother Philonise, who said "Today, we are able to breathe again."Davis added: "If I offended the family, then I'm deeply, deeply disappointed." He also said the post won't be deleted.

— Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) April 21, 2021

Davis said he wasn't aware that NYPD supporters wore "I Can Breathe" shirts following the 2014 killing of Eric Garner. After I brought that up to him he said, "I learned something… I have to do a little bit more research into that just so I can speak coherently on that aspect."

— Tashan Reed (@tashanreed) April 21, 2021

See some of the reaction below.

— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) April 20, 2021

How many people participated in the approval process of this tweet

— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) April 20, 2021

— Paladin Amber (@PaladinAmber) April 20, 2021

This is why diversity is important

— Jessica (@sublimchick2k) April 20, 2021

Did Nancy Pelosi help you all write this?

— Sam G (@sgranger1376) April 20, 2021

For clarification both this post and Nancy Pelosi’s comments are insensitive. George Floyd did not sacrifice himself he was murdered. Systemic change is needed.

— Sam G (@sgranger1376) April 21, 2021

Dear Companies and Brands – Sometimes it’s better to let the moment speak for itself. Sincerely – All of Us

— Kai Ryssdal (@kairyssdal) April 21, 2021

I understand what you guys were trying to do but nah…. hit that delete button.

— Alex Cole (@acnewsitics) April 21, 2021

— Michael Liu (@MiKeMeUpP) April 20, 2021

That ratio though.

— The Fieldhouse (@FieldhouseEtc) April 21, 2021 RELATED… One Guilty Verdict — And What It Means For All Black People's Innocence Kamala Harris Stresses More Work To Be Done After Derek Chauvin Conviction George Floyd's Family Reacts To Derek Chauvin's Guilty Verdict Download Calling all HuffPost superfans! Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter Join HuffPost

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