NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sent a memo to League workers on Sunday night to address the country’s latest racial tensions, following the recent death of a black man who was handcuffed to his neck by a Minneapolis police officer last week. He pleaded that he could not breathe.
Silver’s memo, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press, referred to George Floyd, a Minneapolis man – as well as Ahmed Arberry, a 25-year-old black man chased and killed by armed white men while pursuing him. The South Georgia neighborhood, and Brenna Taylor, a black emergency medical worker who was shot and killed by police while serving a drug search warrant in Kentucky.
“As we fight the epidemic, which affects people of color in the community and more than anyone else, we are reminded that there are wounds in our country that have never healed,” Rajat wrote in the memo.
Silver told staff in the memo that he spent the weekend watching coverage of the protests across the country, adding that “he was pleased by many members of the NBA and WNBA family … speaking out for justice, calling for peaceful protests and working for meaningful change.”
He also called on League office workers to participate in the Dream in Color Virtual Community Dialogue – an in-house employee resource group focused on African-Americans and the problems they face.
“For this moment we need more intimacy from all of us, including me, who never know the full pain and many of our teammates and players are not afraid to experience every day,” Silver wrote. “We have to solve, listen to each other and work together to be part of the solution. And as an organization, we need to do everything in our power to make a meaningful difference. Even in this sad and difficult time, I know we can. “