NBA commissioner Adam Silver sent an internal memo to NBA office employees on Sunday, offering thoughts of frustration and sadness after watching the protests around the country over the weekend.
Silver, in a memo obtained by ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, said his league shares “the outrage” and offered “sincere condolences to families and friends” of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
Floyd, who is black, died Monday after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, kneeled on his neck for several minutes. Floyd’s death has shaken the Minneapolis community and sparked protests in cities across the United States. Chauvin was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, local authorities announced.
“We are being reminded that there are wounds in our country that have never healed,” Silver said. “Racism, police brutality and racial injustice remain part of everyday life in America and cannot be ignored.”
Many NBA players took part in peaceful protests around the country, with some traveling great distances to do so. Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown led a peaceful march through Atlanta on Saturday night after driving 15 hours from Massachusetts to do so. Atlanta is about a 20-minute drive southeast of Brown’s native Marietta, Georgia.
On Sunday, Spurs guard Lonnie Walker was among the volunteers helping to clean up damage from protests in San Antonio. Walker handed out bottles of water to volunteers and helped remove graffiti from the sides of buildings.
“I am heartened by the many members of the NBA and WNBA family — players, coaches, legends, team owners and executives at all levels — speaking out to demand justice, urging peaceful protest and working for meaningful change,” Silver wrote. “Together, with our teams and players, we will continue our efforts.”
Silver, in taking a turn for the future and in the spirit of promoting change, added: “As an organization, we need to do everything in our power to make a meaningful difference.”