Chris Paul remembers the day George Floyd was killed, and how it changed everything.
"Most guys in the NBA will tell you that time was a time of vulnerability for us," Paul, the 11-time All-Star, and guard for the Phoenix Suns, told USA TODAY Sports, "and we all said, 'Enough is enough.'"
Paul, who is an executive producer for the upcoming HBO documentary The Day Sports Stood Still which debuts March 24, said after the horrific video of Floyd's killing was aired, he sat down with his family to watch it. He wanted his two children to witness, Paul said, what America is really like for Black people.
"Aside from us reacting to what happened as NBA players, it was really about being a human being," Paul said. "Waking up that morning, showing the video to my kids. My wife and I watched it with them. I wanted them to know what it was like for a Black man in this country."
Richard Sherman, the Pro Bowl defensive back and future Hall of Famer, also remembers that day, and its impact on him and NFL players.
"It was a moment that I think woke a lot of athletes up," Sherman told USA TODAY Sports. "It was a moment that many felt could have happened to them, or their children, and that had an impact. Hits close to home (and) you feel like you have to do whatever you can to change it."
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Jury selection in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin started this month, and the trial itself is scheduled to begin later this month. Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter. Floyd was killed on May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, was recorded with his knee on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes. Recently, Floyd's family reached a $27 million settlement with the city of Minneapolis.
Floyd's death initiated protests around the world and started a national reckoning on race, social justice and the role of law enforcement in American society.
Floyd's killing galvanized the sports world in ways it hadn't perhaps ever before, and as the trial continues, some athletes are remembering the impact it had on them.
"In a lot of ways the NBA and WNBA were ready to fight," Paul said. "When we're passionate, we speak. The WNBA is so powerful with its voice and unapologetic.
"So when that happened, it wasn't going to take long for us to come together and speak out about it, and players were so outraged."
In other words, the NBA already had a significant social justice framework in place. NBA players were ready to speak, and act, and unafraid to do so.
The NFL was slightly different. Before Floyd's death, quarterback Colin Kaepernick spent four years protesting police brutality and the abuses of the criminal justice system against Black and brown people. Kaepernick met significant resistance from former President Donald Trump, the right-wing media and Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Then, even the reluctant NFL shifted dramatically. Goodell released a video where he said "Black Lives Matter" and admitted the league was wrong in how it previously handled players' peaceful protests.
Then, NFL players released a video in a show of unity. The video included Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
No league led the way in the fight for social justice like the WNBA. They were the leaders and, in many ways, still are.
All of these different leagues, and factions within them, unified after that awful moment in time.
Chauvin's murder trial has athletes remembering how they came together after Floyd's killing, and it's likely that unification will last for years, if not longer.
"This is just beginning," said Paul.
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