NBA Coaches: “As a diverse group of leaders, we have a responsibility to stand up and speak out for those who don’t have a voice…Witnessing the murder of George Floyd in cold blood and in broad daylight has traumatized our nation.”
Former NBA player Stephen Jackson, who grew up with George Floyd, said Floyd was a better athlete than him.
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, many sports leagues, organizations and personalities are speaking out against police violence and racism.
Members of the NBA are among some of the most vocal.
NBA coaches released the following statement:
“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.”
NBA Commissioner Silver in an internal memo said the following:
“Like you, I spent the weekend watching the protests around the country over the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. As a league, we share the outrage and offer our sincere condolences to their families and friends.
Just as we are fighting a pandemic, which is impacting communities and people of color more than anyone else, we are being reminded that there are wounds in our country that have never healed.
“Racism, police brutality and racial injustice remain part of everyday life in America and cannot be ignored. At the same time, those who serve and protect our communities honorably and heroically are again left to answer for those who don’t.
“I am heartened by the many members of the NBA and WNBA family – players, coaches, legends, team owners, and executives at all levels – speaking out to demand justice, urging peaceful protest and working for meaningful change.
“Together with our teams and players, we will continue our efforts to promote inclusion and bridge divides through collective action, civic engagement, candid dialogue and support for organizations working toward justice and equality. We will work hand-in-hand to create programs and build partnerships in every NBA community that address racial inequity and bring people together.
“This moment also requires greater introspection from those of us, including me, who may never know the full pain and fear many of our colleagues and players experience every day. We have to reach out, listen to each other and work together to be part of the solution.
“And as an organization, we need to do everything in our power to make a meaningful difference. Even in this sad and difficult time, I know we can. For our colleagues, friends and family members affected time and time again by these acts of violence, we must.
“We always say that sports have often been the bridge in society that helps build trust and empathy so we can face hard truths and real challenges together. That is our responsibility especially now. I encourage you to participate in the Dream In Color virtual community conversation and I look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions.
“Stay safe, stay engaged and keep looking out for one another.”