This past week has been a lot in terms of police brutality, racial profiling, and the overall treatment and systemic racism towards Black people in America. The death of George Floyd triggered events that have exposed the ugly underlying problems of race relations in America. Those truths are now being addressed by members of every aspect of this nation. From entertainment, sports, and politics, to family discussions and everything in between.
But the most anticipated responses have been from those white coaches who black players mostly play for, are recruited by, and looked up to in a way.
The National Basketball Coaches Association has issued a statement condemning the recent events as shameful, inhumane and intolerable. The NBCA is now going a step further to ensure they are doing all they can to address a problem that is 400 years in the making– the coaches association is now establishing a committee on racial injustice and reform system to come up with solutions to race relations in the local cities.
Gregg Popovich, Lloyd Piece, David Fizdale, Steve Kerr, have all been very vocal about race in America, and those same coaches, along with others, are pioneering the committee. This committee was responsible for the strong condemnation of what happened with George Floyd in Minnesota a week ago.
“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.”
Lloyd Pierce, head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, is a black man. He has played a pivotal part in starting dialogue amongst all the coaches in the NBA, and encouraging the entire roster of coaches in the NBCA to be apart of this, not just the ones who are usually vocal about these issues.
The NBCA’s statement included the signatures of 33 current and former head coaches and nearly 180 assistants.