By John McCrank
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York Stock Exchange and other U.S. financial market operators held nearly nine minutes of silence on Tuesday in honor of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American who died on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck.
The floor of Intercontinental Exchange Inc’s NYSE went silent for 8 minutes and 46 seconds at noon, coinciding with the beginning of Floyd’s funeral in Houston and the amount of time the officer’s knee was on Floyd’s neck.
It was the longest moment of silence held on the NYSE floor in its 228-year history, NYSE spokesman Farrell Kramer said.
“There is no place for racial injustice across corporate America, our communities, our individuals, and we really need to highlight that,” NYSE President Stacey Cunningham said in an interview with Axios.
Rival exchange operators Nasdaq Inc, Cboe Global Markets Inc and IEX Group also each held a moment of silence in honor of Floyd, whose death prompted worldwide protests.
“In times like these, those who challenge one another must come together. That’s why at 12:00:00 ET today, we stand with you @NYSE @Nasdaq @CBOE in an 8 minute and 46 second moment of silence in remembrance of George Floyd. #BlackLivesMatter,” IEX posted on Twitter.
On Monday, thousands of mourners paid their respects to Floyd, filing past his open coffin in Houston, where Floyd grew up.
More anti-racism rallies inspired by his treatment were set to take place in the United States and Europe.
“Our nation is in pain right now. So we cannot minimize that pain. It’s really critical that we find solutions,” Cunningham said.
Recent moments of silence by U.S. exchanges have included Aug. 5, in memory of the victims of mass shootings in Texas, Ohio, and California; as well as a yearly commemoration of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Richard Chang and Jonathan Oatis.