A year after George Floyd's death, Rams players can see positive signs of change

Damarra Atkins pays her respects to George Floyd at a mural at George Floyd Square.
Damarra Atkins pays her respects to George Floyd at a mural at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis. Many believe there have been some positive social changes since Floyd's death. (Julio Cortez / Associated Press)

A year ago, Rams players were among athletes who spoke about racial injustice in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.

On May 25, 2020, Floyd, a Black man, died after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Last month, Chauvin was convicted of two murder charges and a manslaughter charge. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 25.

On Tuesday, during videoconferences after a Rams workout, wide receiver Robert Woods and safety Jordan Fuller were asked about Floyd’s death and their reflections on what has happened in the year since.

Woods, 29, said he has seen some change.

“Just everything that happened from this point last year,” Woods said, “a lot of things that changed, a lot of eyes have been opened, just a lot of attention’s been brought to what’s been going on across America I think has been super impactful.

“Just the players being able to voice their opinion and speak on these things. The NFL getting involved, the NBA getting involved, a lot of people speaking up at their offices.

“I think it was super impactful just to see where we’ve come in a year and it brings joy to me, but I think there’s still a ways to go.”

Fuller, 23, also said more change was required.

“We have a long way to go — I know that we can be a lot better,” Fuller said. “There’s a lot of hate in the world, but there’s also a lot of love and we need to focus on that and spread that even more. So, I think that’s what it really comes down to.

“Obviously, that was a tragedy. The officer going to jail for it, like doing time, it’s not really something to celebrate. It’s like, OK, that’s accountability, but, like, that’s what’s supposed to happen if somebody gets killed, like murdered. ... Obviously, we have long way to go, but I just want everybody to love each other.

“That’s really what it comes down to at the end of the day. So, more love, spread more love.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.