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The NBA deserves a lot of credit as an organization for the active role it has played in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. However, as Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr points out, the league can be hypocritical to some extent. According to Kerr, the significant shortage of Black coaches in the NBA speaks volumes of how, in certain ways, the league also promotes white privilege.
Kerr made his argument via Jon Becker of the The Mercury News:
“We’ve got to do better in the NBA. A few years ago, I think we had 14 Black head coaches. There are only six this year, maybe seven out of the 30?” said Steve Kerr. “I think the NBA does a pretty good job but much like the rest of society, there are inherent advantages when you’re a White person.
“It’s important that White people are aware of the lack of opportunity that a lot of Black people are facing, and we’ve got to address that.”
Steve Kerr was actually a bit off in his assessment. Right now, there are just five active African American coaches in the league: Doc Rivers of the Los Angeles Clippers, Dwane Casey of the Detroit Pistons, Lloyd Pierce of the Atlanta Hawks, J.B. Bickerstaff of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Monty Williams of the Phoenix Suns. That’s just five out of the 30 NBA teams, so it’s safe to say that there is an undeniable disparity between black and white coaches in the league today.
The Brooklyn Nets’ recent signing of Steve Nash as their new head coach caused quite an uproar in this respect. What more than a few folks are saying is that while Nash is a great person and very much deserving of the opportunity, a number of more qualified Black candidates were glossed over. Names like Tyronn Lue, Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson, and Sam Cassell were all thrown in the conversation, with some saying that it was the color of his skin that gave Nash the biggest advantage over these other guys.