Suns coach Monty Williams: sport is a bright spot
MANILA, Philippines—It’s been months since the NBA has been suspended due to COVID-19, but in that time the sport has transitioned from being a source of entertainment to something to be proud of.
Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams said in a Zoom press conference that the NBA’s return isn’t just a display of human athleticism, but it’s now become a beacon of hope.
The United States has been in a state of unrest since the death of George Floyd, an African American, at the hands of Minneapolis police officers with protests enveloping all 50 states.
Williams, who penned an open letter describing his pain and anger over the death of Floyd, said the return of the NBA, or any other major sport, would be a welcome development for the US.
“I think we all have that childlike want to compete, to be around their friends, and tell everybody about the game and our society gravitates towards that,” said Williams. “We’d love to see our teams play. We become a bright spot for our world. It’s not just our country, but the world, in general, is looking for something to grab ahold of that’s authentic.”
Williams may have welcomed the NBA returning, the league is planning to return on a 22-team format in Orlando, but he reminded everyone never to forget what’s happening in the US and also the problems that the world is facing.
“I’m hopeful that sport doesn’t deflect from the things that we need to pay attention to, and as much as we want to get back to playing basketball, football, baseball, there’s still a number of issues in our social structure that need attention.”
In his letter, Williams wrote that there’s an “institutional problem with pervasive racism” and that “it must end now.”
He also took a page from whenever the Suns play their home games at Talking Stick Resort Arena wherein people of all ethnicities cheer for them.
“I’ve learned over time that there’s strength in our differences and you hope that, as we come out of this, that we learn more about each other and learn how to accept each other.”