Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Warriors coach Steve Kerr often speak loudly on political issues.
Now, in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the ensuing protests around the country, the entire NBA Coaches Association is speaking out.
NBA Coaches Association:
National Basketball Coaches Association Membership Statement on the Death of George Floyd pic.twitter.com/Yc7QNpnVr5
— NBA Coaches Assoc. (@NBA_Coaches) June 1, 2020
In describing recent events of “police brutality, racial profiling and the weaponization of racism” as “shameful, inhumane and intolerable,” the National Basketball Coaches Association has established a committee on racial injustice and reform to pursue solutions within NBA cities.
[Hawks coach Lloyd] Pierce played a leadership role in the NBCA’s weekend dialogue and has shown a determination to encourage the entire roster of coaches — not just those traditionally speaking on issues of race and equality — to be part of a movement of voice and action within the profession’s ranks.
Floyd’s death was a tragedy that has shaken the entire country. It has compelled many – including within the NBA – to speak out and act.
It is wonderful that people are standing up to injustice.
Coaches also ought to carefully consider how to use their union as a tool in that fight.
THE NBA COACHES ASSOCIATION WAS ESTABLISHED TO ACHIEVE THE FOLLOWING GOALS:
- To promote the profession of NBA Basketball Coach
- To assist in securing for its members maximum salary opportunities, disability and retirement benefits and individual and group marketing opportunities
- To act as a liaison between the NBA and its body of coaches
- To organize regular meetings for its members where information and ideas concerning the sport of basketball and coaching may be exchanged
- To create opportunities for coaches in radio, television, the internet, publishing, and other related activities, and for opportunities in international coaching clinics and international basketball
- To maintain contact with and support coaches between assignments
- To take advantage of current technology as it applies to the game of basketball
- Provide a forum for the betterment of the NBA coaches profession
There might be a narrow way for the union to take action while fitting its mission. But as its letter says, the National Basketball Coaches Association has a “diverse group” of members. The union should be careful not to collect dues from members to spend outside its purview.
NBA coaches are people, not just coaches. I applaud each of them who choose to speak out. They do have the platform and power to affect change.
I hope they find the right way to do that.