The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers has inspired millions throughout the world to take action. Protesters have flooded the streets, celebrities have railed against racial injustice—or gotten themselves canceled—and even companies like YouTube have committed themselves to the cause. And in the sports world, while the NFL trotted out a public statement that was all
Kaep crap cap, the National Basketball Coaches Association has revealed plans of its own.
In describing recent events of “police brutality, racial profiling and the weaponization of racism” as “shameful, inhumane and intolerable,” the National Basketball Coaches Association has established a committee on racial injustice and reform to pursue solutions within NBA cities.
Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, Lloyd Pierce, David Fizdale and Stan Van Gundy—some of the profession’s most thoughtful and consistent voices on social issues in the sport—were among the coaches selected to a committee that helped craft a forcefully worded denouncement of the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis and the greater pattern of violence and intolerance toward African Americans in the United States.
On Monday, the NBCA released a statement addressing racism and police brutality in America that was signed by 33 current and former NBA head coaches and almost 180 assistant coaches:
“Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the family of George Floyd.
“As NBA coaches—both head and assistant coaches—we lead groups of men, most of whom are African American, and we see, hear and share their feelings of disgust, frustration, helplessness and anger.
“The events of the past few weeks—police brutality, racial profiling and the weaponization of racism are shameful, inhumane and intolerable.
“As a diverse group of leaders, we have a responsibility to stand up and speak out for those who don’t have a voice—and to stand up and speak out for those who don’t feel it is safe to do so.
“Witnessing the murder of George Floyd in cold blood and in broad daylight has traumatized our nation, but the reality is that African Americans are targeted and victimized on a daily basis. As NBA coaches, we cannot treat this as an isolated incident of outrage.
“We are committed to working in our NBA cities with local leaders, officials and law enforcement agencies to create positive change in our communities. We have the power and platform to affect change, and we will use it.”
Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr in particular have been extremely vocal in addressing social issues in America, as well as openly expressing their disdain for Donald Trump. In May, Kerr called out Trump for his response to Minneapolis protesters who took to the streets after the death of George Floyd.
“In 2017 Trump called kneeling NFL players who peacefully protested police brutality ‘sons of bitches,’” he tweeted. “Last night he called Minneapolis protesters ‘thugs.’ This is why racists shouldn’t be allowed to be president.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to see that Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers was selected to join the committee as well. In 2014, he played an integral role in keeping the Clippers afloat after a racist tirade by former owner Donald Sterling was caught on tape during the playoffs.
Rivers also released a statement of his own this weekend in response to the protests that have raged throughout the country.
“Being black in America is tough. I’ve personally been called more racial slurs than I can count, been pulled over many times because of the color of my skin, and even had my home burned down,” he said. “Silence and inactivity are not acceptable anymore. Now is the time to speak. November is the time to vote. Your words carry a lot of weight and your ballots carry even more. The day has come to confront real problems, and be part of the solution.”
Per ESPN, the NBCA will convene on Tuesday to discuss immediate actions that will be carried out across the league’s cities.