Coaches in the NBA have released a collective statement expressing their condolences to the family of George Floyd while pledging to use their platform for change.
Floyd's death was ruled a homicide after a police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. His passing has led to widespread protests across America and the world, with many sportspeople speaking out.
Steve Kerr, coach of Golden State Warriors and Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs are among the signatories on the statement.
Both men have been vocal critics of the White House reaction to the demonstrations, which culminated in US President Donald Trump ordering military intervention to suppress the public anger.
This is why he is Pop. As he once told me- ‘life is short- you either stand for something or you don’t.’ He has always firmly stood for justice and equality, and given the rest of us the courage to do so too. https://t.co/IPHCyQa1B4
— Steve Kerr (@SteveKerr) June 1, 2020
The NBA coaches' statement read:
"Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the family of George Floyd.
"As NBA coaches -- both head and assistant coaches -- we lead groups of men, most of whom are African American, and we see, hear and share their feelings of disgust, frustration, helplessness and anger.
"The events of the past few weeks -- police brutality, racial profiling and the weaponization of racism are shameful, inhumane and intolerable.
"As a diverse group of leaders, we have a responsibility to stand up and speak out for those who don’t have a voice – and to stand up and speak out for those who don’t feel it is safe to do so.
"Witnessing the murder of George Floyd in cold blood and in broad daylight has traumatized our nation, but the reality is that African Americans are targeted and victimized on a daily basis.
"As NBA coaches, we cannot treat this as an isolated incident of outrage.
"We are committed to working in our NBA cities with local leaders, officials and law enforcement agencies to create positive change in our communities.
"We have the power and platform to affect change, and we will use it."