Las Vegas resort executives are calling for social change following the death of an unarmed black man in police custody in Minnesota last week.
MGM Resorts International acting CEO Bill Hornbuckle and Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox joined the Nevada Resort Association in putting out separate statements decrying racism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
Hornbuckle’s sentiments came in the form of a letter that also announced a pending “significant contribution” from MGM to the NAACP.
“The devastating events and destructive scenes unfolding around our nation are gut wrenching to observe,” Hornbuckle said in the letter. “They fill us with pain and sadness, fear and anger and they renew our proven commitment as an organization to stand for equality and respect for all humanity. We unequivocally reject racism, in any form.”
Maddox’s statement called for people to “stand united, come together and work for change,” while also denouncing racism.
“The Wynn family is made up of every race, color and creed — representing the very best of Las Vegas and Boston,” Maddox said.
In a five-paragraph statement, the Nevada Resort Association denounced “racism, bigotry, prejudice, hatred and violence” while also acknowledging concern that protests — which are happening across the country, including in Las Vegas — could put a damper on Thursday’s return for the state’s gaming industry.
Some casinos in Las Vegas will open Thursday after more than two months following coronavirus-related shutdowns.
“With hundreds of thousands of Nevadans of all backgrounds out of work, further civil unrest could delay the return to work we are all so eagerly working towards,” the association’s statement read. “We understand there is a significant national conversation taking place through peaceful demonstrations and protests, which is a American right we support. As this conversation continues, we hope that those who seek to disrupt progress and understanding with violence and destruction recognize the additional anguish this action inflicts on the community.”
In Hornbuckle’s letter, MGM’s top official also voiced support specifically for the company’s black workers.
“We share the pain and sadness of this moment and too many others like it,” Hornbuckle said. “Make no mistake, at MGM Resorts, we firmly believe that Black Lives Matter.”