Hawks' Lloyd Pierce: Every NBA Coach Eager to Use Platform to Combat Racism

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2020

FILE - In this March 11, 2020, file photo, Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce looks on from the sideline during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, in Atlanta. The coach knows he needs to deliver proof of improvement next season. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce said Thursday that the NBA's coaches recently met on a Zoom call to talk about systemic racism and the protests happening around the world in the wake of George Floyd's May 25 killing while in police custody.

Pierce spoke on the Rich Eisen Show about what he said on that call and the response from the league's coaches:

"They gave me the platform to speak, and I spoke freely. And I spoke openly and I spoke passionately about systemic racism, blatant racism and the fact that we need to do something. We had every coach there, and there was dialogue with every coach after, and the response was simple: 'Thank you. This is needed. What can we do?' And I truly mean that when I say that all 30 coaches were passionate, they were energized. They've been motivated and still are to use their platform in their cities to address racism, to talk about the issues we've never confronted in the history of our country and to try and build up our communities through this education."

A number of the league's coaches have spoken out in recent weeks. Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers released the following statement on Twitter:

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said white Americans needed to stand up and fight for equality because the black community has had to bear that burden alone for far too long (h/t ESPN):

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"Black people have been shouldering this burden for 400 years. The only reason this nation has made the progress it has is because of the persistence, patience and effort of black people. The history of our nation from the very beginning in many ways was a lie, and we continue to this day, mostly black and brown people, to try to make that lie a truth so that it is no longer a lie."

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr offered a similar sentiment.

"[Even] though I've tried, I haven't done enough and I don't think any of us have done enough," he told 95.7 The Game's Damon, Ratto & Kolsky in late May (via Marcus White of NBC Sports). "When I say us, I mean white people. We haven't done enough. It's just the truth. If we had, this sort of thing wouldn't be happening."

Many NBA players and coaches have long been outspoken on issues of systemic racism and injustice, so it's no surprise to see that continue.

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