Spurs coach Gregg Popovich denounces killing of George Floyd, joins NBA coaches committee on racial injustice

Spurs assistants Tim Duncan, Becky Hammon and Will Hardy sign statement on George Floyd’s death

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - DECEMBER 14: Gregg Popovich looks on during a game between the Spurs and Suns at Arena Ciudad de Mexico on December 14, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) (Hector Vivas, 2019 Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO – Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has joined a committee of NBA coaches tasked to work with local and community leaders to find solutions on racial injustice and reform.

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The committee was established by the National Basketball Coaches Association in the wake of the protests over the past week across the nation, including in San Antonio, after the death of George Floyd.

The committee also includes Golden State Warriors head coach and former Spurs player Steve Kerr.

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Popovich and other coaches around the league, including Spurs assistant coaches Tim Duncan, Becky Hammon and Will Hardy were part of a joint statement released by the NBCA on Monday morning.

Popovich and Kerr helped craft the statement that denounced Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis. The statement reads:

“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.”

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Popovich is one of the most respected voices in the NBA and has spoken out in the past on race relations and politics in the country.

In January, when asked to reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and race relations in the country, Popovich said “it seems like a lot of rollback in that regard, especially as we look at the race situation in our country.”

“Everybody wants to forget about it but it should be there, front and center, constantly," Popovich said at the time.

According to ESPN, the NBCA will begin discussions this week on how the committee can begin immediate action items across cities.

About the Author:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.