Suns' Monty Williams: I'm Angry, Afraid and 'In Pain' After George Floyd's Death

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2020

Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
Ralph Freso/Associated Press

Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams provided his thoughts on George Floyd's death in an op-ed published Sunday in The Athletic.

"I'm angry. I'm afraid. And I'm in pain," Williams said.

There have been protests in at least 30 United States cities after a police officer in Minneapolis killed Floyd, an unarmed African American. Williams also mentioned Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by police officers in Louisville, as well as Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed by two white men in Georgia.

The NBA coach, who also spent nine years in the league as a player, sent a message that things must change.

"It IS time to raze the institutional foundations of racism and segregation within politics, law enforcement and society at large," he wrote. "It must happen NOW."

The 48-year-old added his thoughts on the method of protest used in recent days. Though many demonstrations have been nonviolent, numerous cities have seen destruction at the hands of riots and looters.

"Don't misread me. I have as much respect for most law enforcement as I do disdain for some of the would-be protesters.

"To those who have sworn to protect and serve ALL people regardless of color, religion or sexual orientation, I say thank you. We have an institutional problem with pervasive racism. It must end now.

"To those who are using the façade of a protest or march by choosing to destroy and tear down, I challenge you to be better. As I tell my players, I'm not calling you out, I'm calling you up. Destruction of property and life is NOT the answer."

NBA personnel have not been afraid to use their platforms to provide their thoughts on the current national climate.

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers provided a statement Sunday through his team's official account.

"The day has come to confront real problems, and be part of the solution," Rivers said. 

Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also wrote an essay on the subject to the Los Angeles Times.