SAN ANTONIO – Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and other Spurs employees are speaking out as protests continue across the nation in wake of George Floyd’s death.
Popovich and others posted video messages to the San Antonio Spurs Twitter page, speaking out about three primary issues that have ignited in the country following Floyd’s death — racism, police brutality, and inequality.
After watching the video showing now ex-Minneapolis Police Office Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, leading to his death, Coach Popovich said he was “embarrassed" as a white person.
“I think I’m just embarrassed as a white person to know that that could happen — to actually watch a lynching,” Popovich said. “What’s it going to take? Two more people with knees to their necks? I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
As of Sunday afternoon, Popovich’s video on Twitter had over 1 million views and more than 8,100 retweets. He said it’s important for white people to speak up, now more than ever.
“It’s got to be us that speak truth to power, that call it out no matter the consequences. We have to not let anything go,” Popovich said. “Our country is in trouble and the basic reason is race.”
“It’s got to be us that speak truth to power, that call it out no matter the consequences. We have to not let anything go. Our country is in trouble and the basic reason is race.”#SpursVoices pic.twitter.com/uTyOIzGnTg— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) June 6, 2020
Other San Antonio Spurs employees also posted on Twitter their thoughts and reactions to the George Floyd video. The posts are scattered on the Spurs’ Twitter page and have been posted over the last week.
Below are some of their statements:
“My concern and my fear is that it won’t change. History will continue to repeat itself and that’s sad," said Justin Wynter, with the San Antonio Spurs.
“We might feel like we have a good grasp of the situation or like it’s at a certain level, but it’s not. It’s far worse than that and people are going through some very real things, serious injustices and hardships that not everybody has to deal with," said Luis Levya, with the San Antonio Spurs.
“We might feel like we have a good grasp of the situation or like it’s at a certain level, but it’s not. It’s far worse than that and people are going through some very real things, serious injustices and hardships that not everybody has to deal with.”#SpursVoices pic.twitter.com/aPoaowTkaR— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) June 4, 2020
“My heart is breaking for them. That’s what is igniting that passion for me. To keep this going and keep this topic going," said Laura Perez, with the San Antonio Spurs.
You can view more of the responses by visiting the San Antonio Spurs Twitter page by clicking here.
Popovich, former Spurs player Steve Kerr and other coaches around the league were part of a joint statement released by the NBCA earlier this week, denouncing Floyd’s killing. 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.”