San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called George Floyd’s death a lynching and said he "was embarrassed as a white person" to know that Floyd could die in such a horrific way.
Popovich also called for reforms in response to Floyd’s death.
Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis last week.
"In a strange, counterintuitive sort of way, the best teaching moment of this recent tragedy, I think, was the look on the officer's face," Popovich said in an emotional video released Saturday by the Spurs as part of their #SpursVoices series on social media.
"For white people to see how nonchalant, how casual, just how everyday-going-about-his job, so much so that he could just put his left hand in his pocket, wriggle his knee around a little bit to teach this person some sort of a lesson – and that it was his right and his duty to do it, in his mind.
"I don't know. ... I think I'm just embarrassed as a white person to know that that can happen. To actually watch a lynching. We've all seen books, and you look in the books and you see black people hanging off of trees. And you ... are amazed. But we just saw it again. I never thought I'd see that, with my own eyes, in real time."
Popovich said it's up to white people to step up and help lead the charge for change.
"We have to do it. Black people have been shouldering this burden for 400 years," Popovich said.
"The only reason this nation has made the progress it has is because of the persistence, patience and effort of black people. The history of our nation from the very beginning in many ways was a lie, and we continue to this day, mostly black and brown people, to try to make that lie a truth so that it is no longer a lie. And those rights and privileges are enjoyed by people of color, just like we enjoy them. So it's got to be us, in my opinion, that speak truth to power and call it out, no matter what the consequences. We have to speak. We have to not let anything go."
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