Words And Deeds

“I was a born a Black man. And some day, I’ll die a Black man. But I don’t want to die because I am a Black man,” said Lloyd Pierce ’98 at a protest for racial justice.

Words And Deeds
Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce ’98 speaks to reporters at the NAACP's March on Georgia Rally on June 15, 2020. / Image courtesy Getty.

Standing before a protest in Georgia sparked by the death of Rayshard Brooks in a police shooting, Lloyd Pierce ’98, head coach of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, took the microphone. “I was a born a Black man. And some day, I’ll die a Black man,” Pierce says. “But I don’t want to die because I am a Black man.”

As the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police put into sharp relief the ongoing struggle for civil rights in America, many like Pierce took to the streets in protest. In doing so, Pierce solidified his position of leadership off the court.

When asked in an NBA interview why he chooses to speak up, Pierce responded, “Why not me? I didn’t go to university for nothing. I went to university to expand my opportunity as a human being. … As a leader in this city, I assume the responsibility as many other leaders who have been here. And I don’t mind that.”

That leadership is team wide. State Farm Arena, where the Hawks play, has become a polling place for precincts throughout the city. The size of the building will make it easier for voters to keep a safe distance.

In his speech, Lloyd Pierce discusses voter suppression, which caused outrage and long lines at few polling places in Georgia’s primary election in June. To help, Pierce and the Hawks are offering their State Farm Arena as an official polling place in the November general election. / Video by TMZ via Youtube.