Clippers head coach Doc Rivers issued a statement Sunday on the ongoing and widespread protests across the United States.
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers issued a statement Sunday on the ongoing and widespread protests across the United States:
“My father was a 30-year veteran of the Chicago police department, and if he were still with us right now, he’d be hurt and outraged by the senseless acts of racial injustice that continue to plague our country,” Rivers said. “Being black in America is tough. I’ve personally been called more racial slurs than I can count, been pulled over many times because of the color of my skin, and even had my home burned down.
“The response we are seeing across the nation, to the murder of George Floyd, is decades in the making. Too often, people rush to judge the response, instead of the actions that prompted it. We have allowed too many tragedies to pass in vain. This isn’t an African-American issue. This is a human issue. Our society must start getting comfortable with the uncomfortable conversation and do the right thing. Silence and inactivity are not acceptable anymore. Now is the time to speak. November is the time to vote. Your words carry a lot of weight and your ballots carry even more. The day has come to confront real problems, and be part of the solution.”
Rivers’ comments come days removed from the death of Floyd, 46, who died Monday evening after being violently apprehended by a Minneapolis police officer.
Video of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck went viral earlier this week and sparked ongoing protests throughout the country.
On Friday, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was was seen on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck, was arrested on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter. An investigation is ongoing regarding the other officers involved in Floyd’s death.
Floyd’s death has sparked a wave of reaction from other members of the sports world. Among other reactions, on Saturday, Celtics guard Jaylen Brown drove 15 hours from Boston to Atlanta, where he led a peaceful protest march in his home state.
“We’re raising awareness for some of the injustices that we’ve been seeing. It’s not OK,” Brown said.
“As a young person, you’ve got to listen to our perspective. Our voices need to be heard. I’m 23 years old. I don’t know all of the answers. But I feel how everybody else is feeling, for sure. No question.”
Many other athletes have shared an image of the Minneapolis Police Department’s treatment of Floyd next to a photo of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest during the 2016 NFL season.
On Friday, Kaepernick’s charitable arm, the Know Your Rights Camp, launched an initiative to hire top defense lawyers for people arrested protesting police brutality in the Minneapolis area.
Former NBA player Stephen Jackson, who called Floyd his ‘twin’ also led a press conference in Minneapolis on Friday regarding the death of Floyd.
Rivers is one of just six active African-American head coaches in the NBA.