Atllanta Hawks

Hawks’ Lloyd Pierce, NBA coaches form committee focused on racial injustices and reform

ATLANTA — Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce is being joined by some of the most recognizable and influential coaches to take a stand on racial injustice.

Pierce is a member of the National Basketball Coaches Association and sits on a new leadership committee that will focus on racial injustice and reform and help to offer solutions within NBA cities.

He will be joined by current and former NBA coaches Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, David Fizdale, Doc Rivers, JB Bickerstaff, Quin Snyder, and Stan Van Gundy.

The NABC released a statement on the death of George Floyd, which was signed by all 30 current NBA head coaches and more than 150 assistant coaches.

Along with Hawks CEO Steve Koonin, an emotional Pierce held a Zoom call with local media for an hour and says he will do whatever is in his power to make a difference.

“We’re gonna need players, we’re gonna need owners, we’re gonna need the league,” Pierce said.

“I’ve been black for 44 years. So this feeling of outrage isn’t new. What I think is new is that it’s on TV when a lot of people can’t leave or move. We’re not bypassing what is on the news right in front of us. We can’t hide from it," he said. "The reaction of it is scary. The manner in which it happened is scary. Living in fear, being concerned when you see a police officer. As an African-American man, this isn’t new.”

“I learned several years ago that as a white male in a significant position that if I don’t speak and try to influential others in similar positions to speak and to act, then very little will get done," Koonin said.

Ever since he arrived in Atlanta, Pierce has made it a point to educate his players well beyond the basketball court. The Hawks team motto is “True to Atlanta” and Pierce takes that to heart.

During off days, he has gathered the team for visits to the King Center, Ebenezer Baptist Church and the Civil Rights Museum.