NBA Coaches Association Organize Committee on Racial Injustice
The NBA is a family through and through, and historically have always been one of the first – if not the first – sport leagues to rise to the occasion.
In light of the raging protests all throughout the country, the NBA Coaches Association has formed a committee on racial injustice. All 30 league coaches, a number of assistant coaches, as well as numerous former coaches participated on a conference call on Sunday and will follow up today to discuss how they can make an impact on league cities.
“The events of the past few weeks – police brutality, racial profiling, and the weaponization of racism – are shameful, inhumane and intolerable,” the statement from the Coaches Association read. “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.”
Furthermore, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, who has always looked to use his platform to call for change released his own statement on the police murder of George Floyd as well as the state of America.
“The thing that strikes me is that we all see this police violence and racism and we’ve seen it all before but nothing changes,” said Popovich. “That’s why these protests have been so explosive. But without leadership and an understanding of what the problem is, there will never be change. And white Americans have avoided reckoning with this problem forever because it’s been our privilege to be able to avoid it. That also has to change.”
He mentioned the void of leadership at the very top.
“It’s unbelievable. If Trump had a brain, even if it was 99 percent cynical, he would come out and say something to unify people. But he doesn’t care about bringing people together. Even now. That’s how deranged he is. It’s all about him. It’s all about what benefits him personally. It’s never about the greater good. And that’s all he’s ever been.”
Lastly, Popovich touched on the type of leadership that the country needs during this dark times.
“It’s so clear what needs to be done. We need a president to come out and say simply that ‘Black Lives Matter.’ Just say those three words. But he won’t and he can’t. He can’t because it’s more important to him to mollify the small group of followers who validate his insanity. But it’s more than just Trump. The system has to change. I’ll do whatever I can do to help because that’s what leaders do. But he can’t do anything to put us on a positive path because he’s not a leader.
“It’s like what Lindsay Graham and Ted Cruz used to say when they had the courage to say it: He’s unfit. But they have chosen instead to be invisible and obsequious in the face of this carnage. In the end what we have is a fool in place of a president, while the person who really runs the country, Senator Mitch McConnell, destroys the United States for generations to come. McConnell has destroyed and degraded our judicial system. He has tried to destroy heath care. He’s destroyed the environment. He’s the master and Trump’s the stooge, and what’s funny is that Trump doesn’t even know it. Trump’s always wanted to be part of the in-group, but McConnell is an in-group of one and Trump plays the fool.”
This message must continue to be echoed.