Pacers head coach, Nate McMillan and point guard, Malcolm Brogdon have been natural leaders on and off the court throughout their respective basketball careers. So when it comes to speaking up about the continued racial strife and injustice impacting America, both were ready to step up and share their perspective.
McMillan does not suffer fools and is not one of those coaches who enjoys hearing his own voice. So that made his initial statement more impactful as he shared his direct and righteous thoughts about the racism and injustice facing the black community.
On Thursday, McMillan expounded on those thoughts in a long conversation on the Dan Dakich Show. They blew through a couple of commercial breaks as McMillan shared his past experiences and all of the examples of the tilted playing field in America which makes freedom and equality for all sound ridiculous. Yet, trying to actually make those inalienable rights for the black community is worth fighting for but requires massive change, or as McMillan put it, “We’re looking for a new America.”
Here is McMillan’s interview with Dan Dakich (at 24:10 mark).
Malcolm Brogdon has also been using his strong voice to highlight the change America needs to strive for and that includes on op-ed article Brogdon wrote for USA Today.
Black people in America are fighting two viruses.
On one hand, the global pandemic brought on by COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting black communities. The other virus – racism and its impact on black communities in America – is also alive and well.
Because of my own wealth privilege and status as an NBA player, some might think I am immune from the latter. But last week, as the protest scenes grew violent and chaotic, I looked within and asked what I could do.
The Pacers point guard went on to share his experience in participating in George Floyd protests and finding his voice to help lead all people to a better understanding of the many issues behind the Black Lives Matter movement. Check out all of Brogdon’s piece, here.
With the NBA aiming to begin playing again at the end of July with activities starting later in June, this won’t be the last time you hear from the Pacers’ leaders. While some may consider the games a diversion from the unrest and pandemic, I think they are better viewed as a platform to continue the tough conversations that have spread across the country.