I’ve been struggling to find the right words to post on here since the murder of George Floyd. But to be honest, this should have been a post on this website from its inception. The murder of George Floyd wasn’t just a one-off incident. It’s a systemic issue.
But as a white man, the easy thing to do has been to remain silent. And just as we preach to our basketball players as coaches, the easy way is rarely the right way. And by remaining silent on these black injustices, I’ve been flat-out wrong. But I refuse to be wrong any longer.
And fellow basketball coaches, I hope you’ll join me.
For the entirety of my coaching career, I’ve coached in the same system I played in on the south side of Indianapolis. I’ve coached and/or played with 100s of African Americans that I love dearly. But one thing struck me – I don’t know that I’ve ever had a one-on-one conversation with any of them about race.
Because it’s easy. It’s uncomfortable. I’ve dropped players off at homes that barely look inhabitable. I’ve had players ask me for a few bucks to spare so they can eat. I’ve had players whose parents I had never seen at games. And while seeing all of these things – I never once asked what it’s like growing up as a black youth in America. I’ve never asked the struggle their families went through to be where they’re currently at. I’ve never asked about the hard conversations their parents had with them about what to do if they encounter the police.
Are those conversations easy? Absolutely not – but my white privilege showed when I’ve seen a glimpse of what it’s like growing up black in America, but never dove further into it. In essence, I never listened.
But I’m listening now. My ears are open – I want to hear from you about what I can do to help spark change. And I absolutely will no longer remain silent.
But in these times, words are hollow. I’m ready to help make a difference with my actions.
With that said, these are organizations that have been recommended to me to support, and I’d like to share them here: