A number of NBA players participated in protests over the weekend as the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery sparked nationwide protests of police brutality towards the black community.
Some, like Stephen Jackson and Jaylen Brown, served as organizers in Minneapolis and Atlanta, while others like Tobias Harris, Malcolm Brogdon, Enes Kanter, Marcus Smart, and more were spotted on the streets of their various cities to support the movement and protest peacefully. Even more players, coaches, owners, and teams have issued statements on the killings, with some taking stronger stances than others, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver offered an internal memo applauding players stepping up and speaking out and also encouraging team leadership and ownership to take this time to listen and learn as their majority black rosters speak on the injustice they face.
The NBA Coaches Association likewise issued a statement on Monday following a call over the weekend that had all 30 head coaches on it, calling its leaders to action. The statement says “police brutality, racial profiling, and the weaponization of racism are shameful, inhumane and intolerable,” and promises that its coaches will use their platform and power to affect change in their communities.
National Basketball Coaches Association Membership Statement on the Death of George Floyd pic.twitter.com/Yc7QNpnVr5
— NBA Coaches Assoc. (@NBA_Coaches) June 1, 2020
It’s a very forceful statement and an important one, as, like they say early in the statement, the NBA’s coaches oversee rosters that are the majority black and, as such, their players are affected heavily by this issue, both in the emotional toll of seeing the likes of Floyd killed by police and in dealing with profiling and the threat of police violence in their day-to-day life. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 30 coaches will meet yet again on a call on Tuesday to discuss further plans of action, as Atlanta’s Lloyd Pierce is among those leading the way.
With Atlanta's Lloyd Pierce leading way on initiative, NBCA is pushing for entire membership to be engaged on issue — not only those who've traditionally been most active. Thirty head coaches were on a call Saturday, meetings Sunday and again Tuesday on plans of action. https://t.co/sLPPDKmqgk
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 1, 2020
Pierce has long been a staunch advocate of civil rights, and so it’s not a surprise he’s taking a leading role in rallying his fellow coaches to step into their communities and put in the work to try and affect change.