NFL

Athletes react after jury acquits Zimmerman

07/15 7:45 AM

Athletes throughout the sports world took to Twitter on Saturday night to express their feelings on the verdict reached in the Trayvon Martin case.

Athletes throughout the sports world took to Twitter on Saturday night to express their feelings on the verdict reached in the Trayvon Martin case.

Jurors found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of the 17-year-old Martin. The six-member, all-women jury deliberated for more than 15 hours over two days before reaching its decision.

Martin was killed on Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, Fla., as he was returning to a gated community, carrying candy and iced tea.

Prosecutors accused Zimmerman, a neighborhood crime-watch volunteer, of profiling Martin as a criminal and following him with a loaded gun, triggering the fatal confrontation. Zimmerman maintained that he shot Martin in self-defense after he was knocked to the ground and Martin was banging his head against the pavement.

Zimmerman faced the possibility of life in prison.

The case had grasped parts of the sports world. In March 2012, a photo showed members of the Miami Heat wearing hooded sweatshirts, their heads bowed and their hands stuffed into their pockets, in a tribute to Martin. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called it "a powerful move" and among the hashtags Miami star LeBron James attached to the picture was "WeWantJustice."

More athlete reaction followed Saturday night via Twitter. Among the most controversial tweets came from New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who wrote "Zimmerman doesn't last a year til the hood catches up to him." The tweet was later deleted. He apologized for the tweet on Sunday and wrote his "prayers continue to go out to Trayvon Martin's family."

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White suggested a violent end for the jurors.

He, however, apologized for the violent nature of his message in a follow-up tweet on Sunday.

The following are some additional tweets from athletes ranging from shock at the verdict to disappointment in the legal system:

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade:

Shaquille O'Neal, who played for the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat:

Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul:

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry:

Chicago Bulls center Nazr Mohammed:

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker James Harrison:

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson:

Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins:

Los Angeles Clippers forward Jared Dudley:

Former Miami football player and New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma:

Former FSU football player and Arizona Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett:

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith:

Former Sacramento Kings center Sean May:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da'Quan Bowers:

Miami Marlins left fielder Bryan Petersen:

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson:

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick:

Information from ABC News and The Associated Press was used in this report.


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