The Golden State Warriors are renowned for their ability to identify personnel who will help their organization. This goes from the front office to coaches to players, as Golden State’s ability to bring talent on board is second to none (save for the Spurs) in the NBA.
But on Thursday, the Warriors made a personnel move that led to many people scratching their heads when they hired former San Francisco police chief Greg Suhr as a “security consultant.” Several hours later, the organization decided to back off of that, and both sides decided to mutually agree to cut ties with one another.
It is a strange scenario, one that could have been avoided if the Warriors read up on Suhr’s unsavory tenure as the city’s police chief. Suhr was in charge for five years before he was asked to resign by the city’s mayor. This came down after an African-American woman was shot and killed by a San Francisco police officer. At the time, SFGate said the shooting “renewed questions about whether the Police Department had lost the confidence of minority communities in the city.”
This was because Suhr’s police department was involved in several other high-profile incidents in which police officers shot and killed minorities. Another controversy involved text messages with racist and homophobic messages sent between officers. According to SFGate, the collection of messages included “derogatory and at times threatening statements toward black, Latino, Indian, transgender and gay people.”
However, the Warriors still decided to hire Suhr, saying in a statement that “Chief Suhr is an expert on public safety, security issues, event planning and operations, VIP protection, risk assessment, and other related matters. The organization is happy to have him on board.”
Several hours later, the team released the following statement, which included Suhr saying he did not want to “cause a distraction.”
The Warriors deserve credit for deciding to part ways with the controversial police chief, but they probably shouldn’t have gotten themselves into this situation in the first place.