Racial discrimination has existed worldwide since time immemorial. In the U.S., the recent death of a black man, George Floyd, while in the custody of a white police officer sparked racially-fuelled civil unrest nationwide. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich implored "white people" to speak the truth about racial injustice and provide rights and privileges to black and brown people just as white people (Caucasians) enjoy them.

The statement was made in an emotional video released on Saturday, as part of the #SpursVoices series -a campaign by the San Antonio Spurs organisation to fight against the injustices of racial discrimination. Popovich claims that "the only reason this nation (USA) has made the progress it has is because of the persistence, patience, and the effort of the black people."

According to NBA.com, the Spurs organisation plans to continue publishing the #SpursVoices series throughout the coming weeks.

As protests condemning police brutality in the alleged "lynching" of George Floyd escalate, many NBA personalities have pledged their condemnation of racial injustice. Coaches like Popovich and Doc Rivers, retired players such as Jaylen Brown and Stephen Jackson, as well as active players like Karl-Anthony Towns, LeBron James, and Josh Okogie released separate statements and did personal actions to support racial injustice protests. Kevin Durant refused to play for the remainder of the season as part of his personal protest.

Nationwide rallies and civil disobedience have spiralled into full-blown riots. Thousands of businesses nationwide were destroyed by fire and were looted by rioting protesters. Sadly, multiple injuries have been reported.

Atlanta, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Denver, Salt Lake City, Nashville, and Minneapolis, among others, have imposed curfews as they brace for more unrest Saturday night into Sunday morning.

The governors of Minnesota, Georgia, Ohio, Washington, and Kentucky have mobilised their state National Guards.

In the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota, the location of the Floyd incident, at least 530 businesses have been vandalised and looted. At least 67 of those were completely destroyed by fire and several dozen others reported extensive water and fire damage.

The NBA, as a whole, has a policy against racial discrimination. It is one of the first professional leagues to accept non-white players into its fold.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich Reuters

“It’s got to be us that speak truth to power, that call it out no matter the consequences. We have to not let anything go. Our country is in trouble and the basic reason is race.”#SpursVoices pic.twitter.com/uTyOIzGnTg

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) June 6, 2020