By NICOLE PELLETIERE, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — An NFL player took to over the weekend to share his run-in with an elderly white woman as the death of George Floyd sparks outrage and protests across the nation.
Zay Jones, a wide receiver for the Las Vegas Raiders, described his heartfelt encounter Monday on Good Morning America.
Jones said the woman approached him and his cousin at a Home Goods discount store in Henderson, Nevada, and said, “I’m from Minneapolis [and] I just want you to know that you matter.”
“I could see [it] was very sincere and heartfelt,” Jones told GMA, adding that he asked permission to hug the woman. “I just felt like that was the right thing to do. And in an instant, she just kind of fell into my arms and she just started crying.”
i was just at a local home goods store w/ my cousin getting furniture for my place when an elderly white woman approached me at the check out counter. she looked at me w/ tears in her eyes… & then said “i’m from Minneapolis & I just want you to know “you matter to me.”
— zay (@zayjones11) May 30, 2020
Floyd, a black man, died on Memorial Day after he was pinned down by former white Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin.
Following his death, protests in Minnesota have spread to more than 20 states. Some have resulted in arrests, vandalism and destruction of property. Many cities have issued curfews in response.
Floyd’s death has also ignited conversations on racism, with people like Jones using social media as a platform to voice experiences and moments of solidarity.
Jones’ tweet about his apparent exchange with a white woman at the store checkout counter garnered over 89,000 retweets and 812,000 shares.
He told GMA he posted the story to spread love during this difficult time.
“Beautiful people still exist in this world,” Jones said. “We just got to love each other. We got to lean on each other. We got to listen to each other.”
Jones said he didn’t get the woman’s name, but wants to thank her for giving him “peace.”
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