With the NBA coaches association establishing a committee on racial injustice and reform to pursue solutions within NBA cities in the wake of George Floyd’s death, Pacers head coach Nate McMillan issued a statement on long-standing suffering in the black community while calling for unity and systemic change.
“The recent killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, is nothing short of inexcusable and my whole heart feels for his family during their time of grief,” said McMillan, who is one of seven African American coaches in the NBA. “Unfortunately, this pain is far too common for the black community in America, the place we claim to be so great.
“Enough is enough.”
Making repeated, and seemingly pointed, use of the word “great,” McMillan also spoke out against violence and pleaded for action as well as personal introspection.
“What is so Great about oppression, pain and suffering? What is so Great about hatred, violence, and racism? For as long as I can remember, the black community has had to piece itself back together time and time again through the agony of injustice. There is no place for racism. Violence is not the answer. It’s time for everyone to take a look in the mirror and take action to remove the divisive stigma that lingers over the nation.
America can and should live up to the standard of Great. We all can and should be proud to call ourselves Americas. A great America is not something people of color have ever known, and it’s time to change that. It will take the effort of everybody. No matter your color or complexion, religious beliefs, occupation, or age, you must know that YOU matter. Your voice matters. Your actions matter. There is a tremendous strength in numbers and we all must join together to create a united front for accountability, justice, and peace.”
“We need leadership that is for all people. We need leadership who will listen. We need leadership that cares. We need leadership that is inclusive. We need leadership with a heart.
For too long the racism and flaws of the system have been ignored. In order for America to reach the status of great, we all must be better. We have to do our part to lift each other up. We must change our hearts. We much change our laws. We must create a systemic change.
I encourage you to be the change you want to see. Let’s make a new America our home a place we can all be proud of.”
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, all 30 head coaches participated in a conference call on Saturday and planned to hold another today to discuss how they can begin immediate action items.