Stephen Jackson Has a Personal Connection to George Floyd

The former NBA player said they had an immediate bond upon meeting.

minneapolis, mn june 2 roxie washington, the mother of george floyds six year old daughter gianna floyd, is consoled by former nba player stephen jackson during a press conference at minneapolis city hall roxie washington, the mother of george floyds six year old daughter gianna floyd, spoke with her daughter during a press conference at minneapolis city hall on tuesday, june 2, 2020 washington, of houston, was joined by george floyds friend stephen jackson, a former nba player, and attorneys justin miller and chris stewart photo by leila navidistar tribune via getty images
(Image credit: Star Tribune via Getty Images)

Stephen Jackson has become one of the prominent figures demanding justice for George Floyd's murder. Most recently, you've probably seen the 42-year-old former NBA player in a viral video holding Floyd's six-year-old daughter, Gianna, on his shoulders while she says smiling, "Daddy changed the world."

It turns out Jackson has a close connection to Floyd and his family. In a conversation with ESPN's Marc Spears, Jackson explained that he met Floyd while he was living in Texas and called him "Twin."

"We have a homeboy named Tello, rest in peace Tello. He's gone now. He was from Port Arthur, but he used to be in Houston as well. Houston is 45 minutes from my hometown. So I'm in Houston back and forth," explains Jackson. "So he came and he's like, 'I'm bringing my homeboy Floyd down here next week. He played basketball too, but y'all look alike. You might have the same dad.' I'm like, please man. So he brings Floyd down, I look at Floyd, and the first thing we both say is, "Who's your daddy?" From looking alike and from that day forward, we just had a bond. We became tight."

Jackson has stood beside Floyd's family since his friend was killed by Minneapolis police officers, promising to take care of Floyd's daughter. "I'm going to walk her down the aisle," he turned around and said to Gianna's mother, Roxie Washington, during a press conference. "I'm going to be there for her. I'm going to be there to wipe her tears."

Watch Spears and Jackson's full conversation about Floyd, below, then get educated on how we can ensure justice for Floyd.

Rachel Epstein

Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.