Ne-Yo Explains His 'Sacrifice' Remarks Made at George Floyd's Funeral
By Zach Seemayer
David J. Phillip / POOL / AFP
Ne-Yo is standing by the remarks he made at George Floyd's funeral. The artist took some heat for referring to Floyd's death as a "sacrifice," and he took to Instagram to explain his choice of words on Wednesday.
"Fifty states are protesting at the same time, this man changed the world,” he said. “I just want to thank George Floyd for the sacrifice so my kids can be all right. I appreciate the sacrifice, I really do."
Almost immediately, Ne-Yo faced backlash from critics online. One user commented under a video Ne-Yo posted of his performance at the event, "Murder is not a sacrifice."
"Yes it is," Ne-Yo replied to the comment. "I never said he was a 'willing' sacrifice. But the sacrifice of his life was the spark that was apparently needed to create the energy for change."
"It's kind of sad that it took this kind of sacrifice to finally open America's eyes even the little bit we have," he continued. "But the unfortunate truth is the world has not united like this in the name of justice for black people EVER."
Ne-Yo went on to write that he chose to address the criticism "because ignorance divides and we don't need that right now."
"I'm going out of my way to explain what I meant because we are all in the same fight and can't leave anyone behind," he added. "I have the utmost respect for George Floyd, his family and the UNWILLING SACRIFICE HE MADE for black people everywhere."
Floyd's funeral -- the last in a series of memorial services held for the 46-year-old -- took place at the Fountain of Praise church in Houston, after which Floyd was laid to rest in Pearland, next to his mother.